The Lingering Scent of Basil
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. The pairing Regulus/Gideon was discovered by my twin, Morghen, so please give her a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy! Note: This fic is a companion piece to her oneshot, "we will be the last ones standing," the 1st Regideon fic, which is a must-read. :3
Molly and Arthur sat at their kitchen table after a rather pleasant lunch. Arthur had the Prophet spread before him, and Molly was relaxing by knitting. Often she would bewitch her knitting needles to do the action themselves, but she had used less and less magic after the war to do what she'd once seen as menial tasks. Everything had come to mean so much more to her after the war.
Disrupting the peace was the sound of the front door opening and closing, and feet stomping just inside the vestibule. The married couple exchanged a look, for neither of them had been expecting anyone.
"Hello?" Molly called out.
"Hey, Mum!" Ginny called right before she entered the kitchen. She was still dressed in her Harpies jersey, but she'd changed into jeans and pulled her hair back, so she didn't look as messy as she often did these days now that she played for Holyhead. "Oh, Dad, too."
"What's the occasion?" Arthur asked, and, before he could have an answer, Harry entered with five-year-old Teddy in his arms. "Ah, Harry, Teddy. Good to see you two boys."
"Hi, Grampa Weasley!" Teddy exclaimed.
"Now, Teddy," Ginny began, "he's not your grandpa. Call him 'Uncle Arthur,' or something."
When Teddy pouted, Harry gave her a look, and Molly waved it off. "Don't worry about it, Ginny. We see enough of this child to call him one of our own. You're a Weasley like Victoire, aren't you, Teddy?" the matriarch said as she scooped Teddy up from Harry.
"Yes, I am!" he said, and he changed his turquoise hair to match the shade of Molly's tresses. He even started to show freckles…but when his skin started to turn brown instead, he grunted and stuck to having red hair.
"His powers are something else," Molly commented to Harry.
"Tell me about it. It's not always fun taking the squirt into Muggle Britain." He ruffled Teddy's hair affectionately, though.
"I repeat, what's the occasion?" Arthur asked as Ginny hugged her father.
"Oh, well, I was wondering if you'd had lunch yet…," Ginny stated, a bit sheepish.
"An hour ago, Ginny," her father remarked, and he laughed. "You should've told us you were coming."
"It's no trouble to make something, Arthur," Molly said, and she put Teddy on his feet. "In fact—Teddy, would you like to help me?"
"Yes, Grandmam Weasley!"
Molly smiled at his words, and she busied herself as Ginny and Harry took their seats at the kitchen table.
"So we were thinking that the house is too quiet," their daughter said of her home with Harry. After the war, Harry had cleaned up and seized ownership of his parents' house in Godric's Hollow and moved into it. Ginny had moved in with him two years ago, and they had been engaged for a year, too busy to set a date because of Harry's heading the Auror Office and Ginny's playing Quidditch—not to mention they often took Teddy off Andromeda's hands.
"That house, too quiet?" Molly asked with a snort. "Teddy is just another little Marauder, isn't he?"
"Grandmam, what's a 'muhrawder'?" Teddy asked as he held a pan for her.
"Your daddy was a Marauder, dear, along with your great-uncles James and Sirius." Molly looked over her shoulder at them. "You were saying?"
"I think we should get a pet," Harry said. He leaned on the table. "It's been years since…Hedwig… And I think it'd be nice for us—plus, it would help to start teaching Teddy responsibility." Harry cupped his cheek in his palm. "I do miss Hedwig…"
"So you want an owl?" Arthur prompted, the Prophet long forgotten.
Harry shook his head. "No, that's bit much. I was eleven when I got Hedwig, anyway. But I was thinking a cat or dog."
"No dogs—too much maintenance," Ginny said.
"Okay, so I was thinking a cat," Harry amended after her interruption. He looked at Arthur and Molly. "Which I think should be fine. I mean, my mum and dad had one when I was little. Mum even said to Sirius in a letter that I got along with it and it got along with me."
"And when Harry mentioned that to me, it reminded me of something," Ginny commented. "Didn't we, when I was really little, have a cat or something?"
Arthur looked to Molly, whose hands had stopped, rested on the counter. He answered for his wife. "Yes, yes, we did, Ginny… Her name was Basil."
"Ah, I knew I remembered her! She was this light-brown color…," Ginny began explaining to Harry.
"She was cinnamon-colored with bright green eyes," Molly corrected, and she willed her hands to move a pan of melted butter so that the contents didn't burn.
The others were quiet, and the sizzling sound of butter filled the silence. Eventually Teddy began humming, and Molly found her voice again.
"She was a sweet thing, and she had belonged to Gideon," she announced to the empty quiet. Arthur knew all that she was about to say and all that she was thinking and recalling, but she had a feeling that Ginny and Harry were a bit surprised. "He asked us to take care of her before he and Fabian went on…their final mission." She cracked a smile, her eyes dry, as she caught her reflection in the glass of the window above the kitchen sink. Funny how, in the light, she thought her reflection looked decades younger.
"We had her until I was six," Ginny said quietly to her love. "It was kind of sudden when she went…"
Molly said nothing, though she agreed with her daughter. However, Basil… Honestly, she'd probably just been unable to carry on any longer without her adoptive fathers. That was right—fathers. And Molly couldn't forget learning about Basil.
"Isn't she great? She's so cuddly," Gideon had said back when they were barely adults. "Regulus got her for me, for my birthday."
Molly had peered into the living room, smiling at how sheepish Regulus Black had looked at the mention of his name in such an affectionate way.
"Her name's Basil, and she's all mine," Gideon had said with a laugh. He'd really loved the kitten, and it was another thing that Molly had been glad to see. Up until Gideon had formed a friendship and subsequent relationship with Regulus during his and Fabian's seventh year, Molly had wondered if Gideon spending too much time with Fabian had suffocated the twin a bit. But Regulus had done a lot to shape the Gideon that Molly now saw. Gideon had a flat, a kitten, a love—and they were all his.
Molly had scratched the kitten's ear once Basil had hopped onto the counter. "Oh, my! She's awfully friendly, Gid…"
Gideon had pulled a face. "Oh, bloody…! Regulus, see what you did! Basil just won't stay off the counter now…!" Gideon had given his sister an apologetic look. "He's always feeding her on the counter in the mornings, even though he knows it drives me nutters…"
Molly had tittered lightly, and she had peeked into the living room again. Though Regulus hadn't joined them in the kitchen during Molly's visit, he had at least felt relaxed enough to laugh at Gideon's bickering. And all Molly could think was that Regulus had been good for Gideon, and Gideon had been good for Regulus, too.
Bill and Charlie had loved Basil, too, when they had visited with their Uncle Gid. But Molly had never thought of Basil being separated from Gideon until he and Fabian had turned up two years later at the Burrow's doorstep, Fabian looking guilty and Gideon looking quite upset.
"Please, you've got to take her," Gideon had said. "We have to go away, and I don't want her to be alone. Despite what Fabian says, she can't fend for herself," he had added with a sharp look to his twin.
"I didn't mean to say—" Fabian had tried.
"No, no, it's fine," Molly had said, and Arthur had joined them at the door and taken Basil from Gideon. "Just be safe, Fab, Gid."
"We will be," Gideon had said, and they'd grinned like mirrors before kissing either of their older sister's cheeks and departing.
Of course, Molly had not seen them after that.
Basil at first had seemed merely unaccustomed to her new surroundings. It had taken some effort to train her, but the kids had been willing to help out with her as long as they could keep her. "Uncle Gid and Uncle Reg wouldn't want her coat to go unbrushed," Bill and Charlie had said on occasion. And they had taken very good care of her, even as the memory of "Uncle Reg" began to slip from their minds despite their having the most interaction with Regulus when he'd been with Gideon.
But Molly knew, as the years had passed, that Basil was happy with them, but not content.
Often Basil had sat by the window in the living room, staring outside. Molly had initially thought that Basil had been watching insects flitting about or birds flying by, but she had later begun to realize that Basil had been waiting for Gideon and Regulus to come get her. Or maybe Basil had been looking for either one of them—as long as one came.
Once, Molly had found Basil curled up on the couch with the chain of a locket in her mouth. The witch had worried that the cat would hurt herself, but Basil had been asleep, just cuddling the item. Molly had thought it odd that the cat would do such a thing, but then she'd seen that Basil had managed to get it open. It was Molly's locket that held a photo of each of her twin brothers.
Molly's cause for concern, though, came the year that Basil disappeared. Molly had heard that cats often hid when they parted so that they retained their dignity, but Basil had acted strange right up until she'd left.
Basil had taken to making off with Molly's locket enough times that Molly had given in and attached the locket to Basil's collar. That had made Basil happy for a while. But then she would go out and not return for hours; when she did return, she would carry a cigarette butt in her mouth.
The first reaction was to freak and hope she wasn't eating them. But Arthur and Molly both had kept an eye on her, and they had never seen her eat them. They had made sure their children understood not to touch Basil's catch, but after taking the cigarette butts away hundreds of times, they had given up and written it off as a peculiarity of Basil's.
Then one day she went out and didn't come back. Just like Gideon and Fabian had.
Molly and Arthur had had one hell of a time consoling their kids about the cat, but Molly had felt rather lost herself. Basil had been the last part of Gideon she still had…a memory of happiness that could come from what were supposed to be warring sides, because she had heard—a long time ago—that Regulus had been one of those hooded wizards…
But the memory Molly had in mind would always be of her in the kitchen with Gideon, Basil on the counter, Gideon bickering about Regulus' bad cat habits, and Regulus laughing as though nothing could've broken their little family. Even though something had.
Coming out of her reverie, Molly sniffled and sniffed—and realized she had burned the butter. She pursed her lips and remedied her mess, and Teddy tugged on her apron and hugged her leg without saying anything.
"Mum?" Ginny asked, concerned.
"I think a cat sounds lovely, dear. Just lovely." Stuffing one hand in her skirt pocket, Molly thumbed a closed locket on an old chain…and it just felt out-of-place when not on Basil's collar.
I can't believe… -.- Yeah. Heavy. But I wanted to do something for Basil… :'S *we miss you, Basil*
Thank you for reading, and please review.