The Lost and the Found
(or Molly Weasley's path to self-destruction)
She's just a lost little girl. This is evident by the frown on her perfectly painted face, and the pain that's painted there as she leans back against the edge of the bench. It's evident by the bruises covering her legs as she's fallen many times on her path here. It's evident in the fact that she doesn't seem to care about the dangers of sitting alone in the middle of the park in the rain. She doesn't care about the number of pedophiles that could possibly come and pick her up- in fact, she doesn't seem to care about her safety in the least.
Too bad for her, someone else does.
"Get your umbrella," Teddy Lupin says, walking up to her, not bothering with the typical polite greetings.
Not meeting his eyes, she frowns. "I didn't bring my umbrella."
"Molly," he curses under his breath. Grabbing his umbrella, he opens it and grabs her arm, pulling her off of the bench. "I don't know what kind of joke you think you're playing, but it's not funny. This is dangerous and your parents are worried."
"My parents don't care," Molly replies innocently. "When I said I was running away, they said go ahead. I'm not five anymore, Teddy- I can take care of myself."
"Obviously not," he says angrily, "if you're sitting outside in the rain where pedophiles have easy access to you is taking care of yourself. Now, are you going to walk, or am I going to have to carry you?"
"Well," she replies with a scowl, "I'm not coming willingly."
He rolls his sweet brown eyes before reaching out with his strong arms and pulling her up, where he cradles her fragile eight-year-old body. "You know your parents are worried about you, Molly."
"They are not," She repeats firmly, but her eyes travel up to him with a bit of curiosity. "They haven't said anything to you, have they?"
"They told me to come find you," Teddy informs her, his hands trailing up the soft paleness of her arm. "They said that they were worried. Lucy was crying, even."
"I highly doubt that," Molly scoffs, but her mouth turns up at the corners even so, and she rotates her body so that her head is buried in his chest. "But Teddy, I'm tired…"
He laughs, at her highly advanced vocabulary and at her tiredness, and then carries her all the way back to her house. He's Teddy and he makes a vow, right then, that he's going to protect her for the rest of his life.
Because she doesn't seem to care about her safety and, much to his dismay, her parents don't seem to care that much either. Lucy cares, but Lucy's not able to protect her like she would like to.
So he supposes that it's up to him to protect the fragile gem that is Molly Weasley the Second.
However, that's not the real problem that occurs.
The real problem starts when Molly's fifteen and Teddy's twenty-two. He's dating Victoire at the time, but they're taking a break, at least. She seems to stare at him during the whole Christmas dinner, until he pulls her over. "What's going on?" he demands, staring at her.
Fidgeting nervously, she says softly, "I'm sorry, Teddy."
"For what?" he asks, sounding a bit angry even though he doesn't mean to.
"For this," she whispers before closing the distance between them and pressing her lips to his, wrapping her arms around his neck.
He kisses her back, not really thinking about who this is and what he's doing because she's a good kisser, to be fifteen. But then, suddenly, he pulls away. "Molly- what are you doing?"
The girl, the stubborn girl who believes in fairytales, romance, and happily-ever afters, just scowls at him. "I think you know what I'm doing. I think I love you, Teddy."
"Molly, no," he pleads, but he can't help but to lean in and kiss her again. "I'm not good for you. I'm just going to break your heart… unintentionally, of course, but still."
She kisses him back before pulling away. "You've already broken my heart. How much worse can it get?"
"Much worse," he protests, pulling away and finally ending the string of kisses. He's just a monster in the flesh- half-Metamorphagus, half- werewolf, all heartbreaker- and no, he's just not right for her. She deserves someone better than him.
"Trust me, Molls," he ruffles her red curls. "You'll find someone out there who's better for you than me."
She nods, and as she fixes her curls back to perfection, her sleeve falls down and he thinks he catches a glance of silvery and puckering red scars, interlaced in a careful pattern. Shooting her a curious stare, Teddy crosses his arms. Molly just looks terrified, and with a gulp, she pulls her sleeve down all of the way and dashes out into the rainy, dark night.
"Molly, wait," he calls after her, but it's too late- she's already pulled open the door and dashed out of it. Biting his lip, he walks back into the dining room. No one seems really concerned that a crying Molly had just dashed out the door. No one except Dominique.
"Teddy," Dominique hisses, grabbing his sleeve violently, "What the heck did you do to Molly that caused her to run out crying like that?"
He gulps. "She kissed me, and I told her I wasn't right for her, which is true-"
"Idiot," the Slytherin hisses back to him, looking as if she wants to slap him hard across the face. "You idiot. Look, Ted, you have to go out there and get her to come back inside now, or I swear to Merlin that you will wake up dead tomorrow."
"How can you wake up dead?" Teddy questions with an amused smile.
"I'm not joking with you, Lupin," she says in a deadly voice. "Go. Now."
He stares at her, obviously frightened, before he turns and runs out the door, expecting to see Molly sitting out there crying or something.
But she's not out there.
Panicking, he glances around, before calling into the emptiness, "Molly? MOLLY, ARE YOU OUT THERE?"
Then he hears screaming, the screaming of someone in pain, more intense pain than he's ever heard before. Worried, he dashes forward to see a Muggle car and someone shoving Molly into it.
"Molly, no!" He yells, and his legs travel faster than ever before but the yard is long. He runs, his feet going as fast as they're able- but then the driver hops in and the car speeds off. Teddy tries to run after it, but he trips and faceplants onto the ground.
Wiping the gravel off of his face, he blinks rapidly. Tears start to fall down his face as he realises how stupid he is.
Had he only been one minute quicker, Molly would've been back here in his arms. Had he not let her go out alone, she would still be there, smiling at the dinner table. Had he just said that he loved her too, she wouldn't have gone outside in the first place.
What sort of protector was he, anyway? A horrible one. He wasn't even worthy of being called her protector.
Tears still falling to the ground, he walks inside the house, not meeting anyone's eyes. But they rush to him anyway.
"Where's Molly?" Dominique demands, tears already pooling at the edges of her sapphire eyes.
"Gone," Teddy chokes out, wiping the tears away from his own eyes. "Car, Muggles, she couldn't fight them… I ran after them, I tried to stop them, but they were too fast in their stupid Muggle car." He can't stop crying. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm a crap protector."
Dominique screams in rage or something like it and starts to run towards Teddy, arms flailing, but her dad caught her before she could reach him. The tears spilling down her face mix with the blood from where she bit down on her lip. In a low tone, she growls, "You. Let. Them. Take. Molly."
Lucy bursts into tears then, wrapping her arms around Teddy and burying her head in his shirt. He looks up at everyone. "Well, I see only one solution. I let her go; I have to go find her."
"But it's dangerous," Audrey replies, wiping mascara stains from under her green eyes.
"I'm a wizard," Teddy reassures her confidently, though he doesn't feel as confident as he looks. "I can take on a little Muggle, now can't I?"
Percy, who has the most haunted look in his eyes of all of them, claps Teddy on the back. "I wish you luck, and if you don't find her- I'm coming out there too. They'll have a whole manhunt on Molly's trail." An actual tear trails down his cheek, Percy the emotionless, the man who doesn't feel anything- this can't be the same person, can it?
"Got it, sir," Teddy says sincerely.
That's when Dominique pipes up, one hand on her hip. "I'm coming too."
"You are not," Teddy replies, before Lily pipes up.
"I'm coming too," She demands, poking out her bottom lip.
Lucy cowers back into her dad's chest, and he wraps his arms around the little girl. Grateful that Lucy hadn't volunteered her services as well, Teddy just blinks. "I don't need you both to come. You'll only slow me down."
"Slow you down? Hah!" Dominique flips her curls. "If anything, you'll slow us down, little boy."
Bill and Harry send identical pleading looks at him. "Please, just take them? They'll never shut up if you don't."
He sighs, running a hand through his hair and watching as the colour changes from its normal brown to blue. "Okay, fine, they can come with me. But what about the danger?"
"It's good practice," Harry replies, having fought Voldemort already at the age of eleven.
"Good, well, we already knew you were going to agree," Dominique puts a hand on her hip. "Now are we going to go or are we going to have to drag you?"
"You're going to have to drag me," he rolls his eyes at Dominique before he turns to the men. "Does anyone have a Muggle car that I can borrow?"
Suddenly, a pair of keys comes flying at his face. He catches them before they hit his face. With a shrug, George says, "We were originally going to use it for deliveries but Apparating is much handier. I can see why you'd need it for this, though- tracking their trails. Have fun, and if you wreck it, we can always repair it. Not a big deal."
"George!" Angelina smacks her husband's shoulder. "You can't repair Dominique and Lily though!"
"All right, fine, don't wreck," George winks at Teddy anyway, and Teddy grabs both Dominique and Lily's hands, much to their displeasure.
"I'm thirteen; I don't need you holding my hand," the young Slytherin protests.
"Great, I have the company of two young Slytherin girls on my adventure," Teddy rolls his eyes. "Goodbye. We'll be back soon with Molly."
Then the three of them, like they're some Power Trio, hop into the car, and quickly begin to drive off. He starts off going the same direction that he saw them drive off to.
"Teddy," Lily says in a conversational voice, "do you know where they went?"
"Not the faintest idea," Teddy replies, not taking his eyes off the road and resisting the urge to yell at them.
"THEN WHERE THE HECK ARE WE GOING?" Dominique shrieks.
"I don't know," Teddy replies, but he keeps driving and driving. It starts to get dark, and in the backseat, he notices that Lily and Dominique are starting to doze off already. Seeing a Muggle motel in the distance, he asks, "Shall we pull off here and get a motel room?"
"Why are you using shall?" Lily mutters. "You sound like you're from the 1800s."
He laughs and pulls off into the motel parking lot, feeling like an expert and thrilled that his Muggle-born housemate had taught him to drive all those years ago. Once he finds an empty parking spot, he peels open the door and grabs Lily up in one arm, taking Dominique's hand with the other arm. Both of them are too tired to even protest.
He books a hotel room, noticing the weird looks that he gets from all of the staff, a room with two beds. Then he lowers Dominique and Lily into one (laughing at Dominique's mutterings about how Lily will kick her in her sleep or something like that), before climbing into the other and quickly dozing off.
He's walking down a dark street when a high, sharp scream pierces the silence. Quickly, he glances around to find the source of the scream before his eyes land upon a flash of red hair. Scared, he runs down the alley, screaming as his eyes land upon Molly. Glaring into the eyes of the man who's holding her, he says viciously, "Let her down, now."
"As if, Lupin," the man hisses, dropping Molly to the ground.
"How do you know me?" Teddy stutters, surprised.
"You mean to say you don't recognize me?" he asks, giving Teddy an evil glare. "I might've guessed. Not many people seem to care about little old me, do they? Hence why I've kidnapped your little girlfriend, give you a bit of a wakeup call."
"Why Molly?" Teddy asks, eyes wide. "Why not Victoire?"
Molly gives a little bit of a strangled cry, and he bites his lip, hard enough that a little trickle of blood drips to the ground. The man rolls his eyes. "It's obvious that Victoire is nothing but a plaything to you. You care about Molly much more. Besides," he scowls, "your precious little Victoire has already found someone else."
Glancing at his hands, Teddy realises that he's starting to fade away. Terrified, he stares at Molly. "Molly…"
"I love you, Teddy," she whispers, but her voice breaks. "He's got me at… Leaky…'neath."
Then Molly passes out on the floor. He tries to run over to her, but the man pushes him to the ground with a simple shove. "Nice try, Lupin."
His hands are almost completely gone now. Looking at the man, fear written all over his face, he asks in a trembling voice, "Who are you?"
"Your worst nightmare, Lupin," The man's voice cackles. "You don't know me, but I know you. I've watched you… with her."
"Hold up," Teddy chokes, as his shoulders are starting to fade away. "This is about Molly?"
"No," The man scowls at Teddy. "It's about Victoire. It's about Victoire, my love for her, my admiration of her, and your ignorance of me. I suppose you won't ignore me any longer, will you?"
Then the man kicks him in the face, causing him to howl in pain and shut his eyes.
When he opens his eyes, he's back in his bed, screaming in pain. Shooting up, he walks quickly over to the mirror and touches his face. Nothing. No shoe marks, no bruises.
Could it have only been just a dream?
But it's better to try than to give up. In the magical world, everything is not what it seems, because people can try to mislead you or mess with your mind. And Teddy knows that if she's really where he thinks she said she was, and he doesn't look for her, he'll never forgive himself.
It's better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.
So he wakes up the half-awake (from his screaming) Lily and Dominique. "We've got to go."
"It's only 8 AM," Lily, the younger 11-year-old, whines. "Fifteen more minutes."
"Now," Teddy hisses. "I think I might know where Molly is, and if my suspicions are correct, we've got to hurry like now."
They check out in a hurry, making the weird bald man at the counter all the more suspicious. Teddy notices that, as he speeds away, the man takes down Teddy's license plate number. Uncaring, Teddy speeds on, until he's pulled over by a cop.
"License, please," The cop demands.
Sheepishly, Teddy hands over his license, grinning at the blue haired little boy in the picture.
"Why is your hair blue here?" The Muggle asks with a frown. "Now it is brown."
Obviously, Teddy wants to say. Instead, he just frowns and shrugs. "Hair dye?"
"Who are these children in the backseat?" The man peers in.
"My nieces, Dominique and Lily," Teddy explains. The two girls smile and wave cheerfully at the cop, and Teddy can tell he's taking in the fact that they look well-treated and well-fed.
"Very well, be on your way," the cop responds, sounding a bit bored.
So Teddy drives off, keeping the speed down a bit, until they get to the edge of Muggle London. Parking in front of the Leaky Cauldron, he jumps out, locking the car after Lily and Dominique scramble out of the car.
With a frown, he dashes into the inn/pub, running up to the bartender before deciding it's probably best to keep on the down-low. "Hey, Bart, how about a couple of butterbeers? We've got a few underage ones here who were eager for something to spice up their vacation."
"Lily and Dominique, right?" Bart asks, glancing down at them. "What year are you?"
"I'm going to be starting second year, my birthday's in a week," Lily grins at him.
"Starting third," Dominique yawns, glancing around. "And…"
"Have you seen anyone suspicious around here?" Teddy asks, lowering his glass to the bar. "Because I have reason to believe things I've heard about suspicious activities around here."
"Suspicious activities?" The man raises his eyebrow. "There's nothing suspicious around here."
"Do you mind if I have a look around, then?" Teddy asks with a smile. "Just to make sure."
"Sure, go ahead, but you won't find anything," The man promises Teddy. With a grin and a polite nod, Teddy jumps to his feet, whispering to Lily and Dominique that they should sit there, talk to the man, and basically be the good little girls that he knows that they can be.
Creeping around, he hits his foot accidentally on something hard and metal. This, of course, causes him to yelp and jump around, but when he looks down, he only sees a tiny metal handle that he supposes goes to the alcohol basement or something that most pubs have. Glancing around, he scales the walls for any hidden passageways (other than the one to get to Diagon Alley) or anything, but he doesn't find any. Discouraged, he sits down and tries to remember what Molly had said in the dream.
"Leaky… neath," he repeats, still a bit puzzled. Then it seems to sink in. "Leaky underneath!" He exclaims, jumping to his feet and running back over to the trapdoor. Throwing it open, he begins to climb down.
"Where are you going?" Lily calls, looking worried.
"I'll be back in a bit, just doing some investigation," He partially lies, because he is doing investigation but he has no idea when he'll be back.
The trapdoor shuts with a thud behind him.
"Lumos," he whispers. With the tip of his wand alight, he glances about the room, searching for someone in the darkness that he doesn't know if he's going to find. Then, his eye lands upon another trapdoor (actually, he stubs his toe on it again, but that need not be mentioned).
Throwing it open, he climbs down the ladder, acutely aware that there's someone else there- it might be the chills down his spine or the crispness of the air. Either way, he's not alone and he knows it.
"Hello?" he calls into the shadows, waving his wand around.
"Teddy!" calls a muffled voice from the corner. "No, go!"
"Molly?" He asks, running toward the voice. "Molly, don't worry, I'm coming!" He runs through the darkness, nearly tripping on a chair, but even so, he makes it to her. "Molly, oh, Molly," he cries, kissing her cheek (and he knows it's her).
The lights flicker on, causing Teddy to shoot up with a start. Molly's face is bruised and dirty, but as he turns around, he knows that she's not the only one in the room, as her eyes are trained on someone. When he turns around, he sees the guy from his dream- unmasked.
"Gordon?" Teddy actually laughs upon seeing the Hufflepuff Muggle-born, two years younger than him. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, now you know who I am," Jordan Gordon crosses his arms, scowling at both of them. "Now that I've kidnapped your girlfriend."
"Just because of Victoire?" Teddy actually laughs. "Are you insane?"
"No," Jordan hisses, but his eyes are alight with something like insanity.
Pointing his wand at the boy, Teddy hisses, "Expelliarmus."
Everything goes much quicker than he's used to. The wand flies out of Jordan's hand, yes, but then with something spoken under his breath, Jordan's wand flies right back to him and he points it at Teddy, pushing Teddy up against the wall.
"How did you do that?" Teddy manages to choke out.
"It's one of the benefits of being a Hufflepuff, Lupin," Jordan Gordon scowls, twirling his wand around between his fingers. "You're never noticed. In fact, you just blend in. So you get to learn a lot more than you would think. Such as… the Killing Curse."
Teddy's breath catches in his throat. Never once, when he had agreed to go find Molly, had he considered that he would die on the way. But he bites his lip anyway and hangs his head. "Go ahead."
Molly's muffled cries come from the corner.
"Move and I kill the girl," Jordan whispers before he begins, causing Molly's cries to increase tenfold. But it's too late. "Avada-"
The door cracks open and Lily and Dominique come flying through the ceiling, Lily landing right on top of Jordan's head. Dominique shoots a quick spell at Molly, releasing the girl's bonds with ease, as if they were just flimsy tissues tying her there, and Molly hops to her feet. All of them pull out their wands and point at Jordan.
Lily calls out some spell, but it's nearly too late- with a crack, the man Apparates away, leaving all of them standing there.
They all glance at each other before Lily, Dominique, and Molly all burst into tears. Teddy gathers them all into one big group hug.
"It's all right," Teddy feels a bit like a grown-up talking to a bunch of babies but ignores it. "It's all right. He's gone and we have Molly back, that's all that matters."
"He's still out there, Teddy," Dominique wipes the mascara-stained tears from her face. "He could come back for us again, next time."
"But we have Molly back," Teddy soothes her, shooting a grin at Molly. "We're saving the world, one step at a time."
"It's better than nothing," Lily nods, burying her head in her older cousin, dirty and matted but still completely Molly.
With a nod, Dominique yanks Lily away, and the two of them ascend the stairs, leaving Teddy and Molly alone (probably on purpose). Teddy turns to Molly with a sigh, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Molly, what did he do to you?"
"Nothing," she lies, staring at the ground. He sees the ghost of whatever's happened reflecting in her eyes, but he doesn't press it- if she wants to tell her, she will. But her haunted eyes fall upon him then. "You saved me, Teddy. Thank you. You didn't have to, but you did. Thanks."
"It was my fault, of course I would," Teddy says, then realizes the implications and quickly changes it. "I mean, I wanted to too, of course."
Nodding, she stares at the ground before looking up and flinging her arms around him before quickly jerking up again. "Just…thanks," she says quietly before turning and fleeing up the stairs.
He returns her to her family. Audrey kisses him on the cheek. Even Percy's happy, and Lucy flings her arms around her sister.
But at some point during the celebrations, Molly slips outside again. Enraged, he follows her. "Molly Grace Weasley, are you mentally unstable? After what just happened, you're going to go and go outside by yourself again? What is the matter with you?"
"I suppose I just wasn't thinking, sorry," she mumbles, sitting on the step at the edge of the sidewalk.
Protectively, he takes the seat beside her. "Don't worry, Molly."
They sit in silence for a few moments, both of them gazing up at the sky. Finally, Teddy works up the courage to ask, "Are you ready to talk about what happened now?"
"Guess," Molly replies simply.
He stares at her. Squeezing her elbow, he asks softly, "He hasn't been feeding you?"
"No," Molly stares at the ground. Tears start to pour from her eyes. "That was me."
"You… you're not feeding yourself," his head snaps up, and he turns to stare, horrified, at her. "You're forcing yourself not to eat. Why, Molly, why?" Noticing the faint scars on her wrist then, he asks, "Molly Weasley, what are you doing to yourself? Correction- what have you been doing to yourself?" His eyes don't travel from her face, wet with tears.
She breaks down crying. "I- I didn't mean to. It started a month or two ago, when I decided I wasn't good enough. Compared to Victoire, what was I? I was just the little, hopeless cousin who was in love with Teddy Lupin. I soon fell into the mindset that if I was just a bit skinnier, I would be better. I'd finally be the perfect person that I wanted to be. I cut myself a few times, but it didn't help- that stopped soon, as you can see." He notices that the scars on her wrist are faded. "Once I was kidnapped, the not eating became more of a protest. He called me a freak for not eating, a freak with self-esteem issues. A freak who was sad because she couldn't live up to her legendary family. He would hit me, sometimes. He would hit me and call me a freak. He'd say that I had mental issues because of this. That I was abnormal and that- that no one would ever love me," she breaks down into tears again.
He rubs her hair before he turns his head to look up at her. "You're not abnormal, Molly. You're not a freak and people will love you, because, guess what, I love you."
Then he leans over and presses his lips to hers, tangling his hands in the young girl's matted curls.
Because she's looking for someone to love her and she's found that now in Teddy Lupin.
(He breaks everything off with Victoire the very next day and never looks back).
He convinces her to talk to someone else other than him.
It's just that one more step in helping the lost to become found.
A/N: I don't even know what this is.
I hope it's not totally horrible, and I mean…
I don't know. ;)
Happy birthday, Ella, is all I can say. I'm sorry that it's so bad D: But I love you lots and I hope your birthday is terrific and lovely because it should be!