Reminiscence

Molly fixed herself a cup of tea. Instead of sitting at the table, she carried her cup to the sitting room and got comfortable on her sofa with her feet tucked underneath her. Not many people have seen her like this- sitting still and calm.

She felt she had a right to be still. All the chores were done. What little laundry they had was ironed and put away, the cow and chickens were dealt with, the house tidied and dusted. Even the garden was weeded. Yes, a cup of tea was well deserved.

She heard a pop outside and wondered who could be visiting. She rose to her feet, with her teacup still in hand and opened the door to a smiling Arthur.

"Arthur Dear. What are you doing home on a Monday afternoon?" Molly stood with a smile on her face.

He opened his arms wide, "I decided to give myself an afternoon off." He kissed the top of her head.

"It's nice to be your own boss, isn't it?" She stepped back and grasped his head down to give him a proper kiss. "Can I get you some tea? Ron left a few biscuits from last night."

"That sounds lovely." Instead of going into the living room, he followed her to the kitchen. "I expected you to be busy. Isn't Monday your washing day?"

Molly added more tea leaves into the pot then turned, "With just the two of us, it took no time at all."

She lead them back to where she was sitting. He settled next to her and took a sip. "You look peaceful today." He said off hand.

"Well, I realized something this morning." She sighed and snuggled closer to him.

"And what was that?" He smiled into his cup.

"There is nothing to really worry about anymore." Molly said simply.

"Nothing? How do you figure that?" He set the cup on the side table and put his arm around her shoulders.

"I've been trying to put into words. I think I've always had worries. Taking over the housework and the twins at nine when Mum died. Worrying about the farm and house when I started Hogwarts. I felt I had no time to rest."

"I remember when we got on the train. I was watching you, the way you hustled and fussed over your dad and the boys. I wondered if you were a very young mother or an old student. What a surprise to find you were just a first year like me."

"I remember sitting in the carriage across from you and thinking you were so kind. You seemed so happy." Molly reminisced. "A red headed boy who seemed to have no worries. It was like a breath of fresh air."

"I did have a worry. I didn't know how to talk to you. All my words just sort of flew out the window." Arthur chuckled. I had never seen a girl with hair as red as mine before. But go on. You said you were always worried."

"Yes. I worried Dad couldn't cope with the farm and the boys, That I could keep up at school. That I couldn't make many friends. And then, you found your words." This time, Molly chuckled.

"I couldn't let Johnstone keep teasing you, could I? We gingers have to stick together." He ruffled her hair gently. "Plus, you were so cute and fiery. Telling that boy off was a way to get you to notice me."

"I was barely twelve years old and I couldn't help noticing you. So tall, so handsome. I knew, even then, that I liked you. And then when you kissed me in sixth year, oooh. What a kiss that was." She remembered how her toes curled and her head spun.

"I wanted to do that for so long, but I didn't have the courage. We had become such great friends, I didn't want to ruin that." With his free hand, he took hers and gently rubbed her palm.

"Then that summer. I was working so hard on the farm, taking care of Dad and the boys and still doing the internship at St. Mungo's. Those few times we could meet up were magical, but I worried." Her tone became serious.

"About what?" Arthur asked.

"You know. Because my family needed me so much, plus I planned on a career as a healer, would you still want me."

"And that was the last thing you should have worried about." He lifted her hand to his lips. "I've told you a million times, I would have wanted you, no matter what."

"That kept me going. And then that one-night Mid-August. I'm sure you remember. You showed up un-announced and asked me to take a walk. I worried about getting dinner on the table, but you just took my hand and led me into the orchard."

"That's when I told you how I felt. I was such a nervous boy. Here I was, only sixteen and telling my girl I loved her." His arm around her shoulders tightened gently.

"The sweetest words I ever heard. And then what else we got up to in the orchard that night. I was so afraid I was going to get pregnant. I didn't have a Mum to teach me what to do to prevent it. Then two days later, the Sign. It scared me so much. I was afraid you would run. Dad didn't know if he was angry or happy. The boys thought it was a joke. It took two more days to get the nerve to write you."

"I didn't notice the Sign until I got your letter. I was riding so high because you said you loved me back. Sure enough, that mark was on my arm. After I showed my parents, it took me all of ten minutes to apparate to your door. There was no way I was going to lose you."

"There was no way you were going to lose me. Dad had gone to talk to Aunt Muriel. She started planning before I could really talk to you. And then Dad found out that married, let alone betrothed students could not attend. What would happen to us? We had to finish our education." She became agitated at the injustice.

Arthur said proudly "And then you came up with the solution. We had that silly, secret little betrothal here at the Burrow, three days at Shell Cottage and we told nobody else."

"That was such a hard year, wasn't it?" Molly asked and Arthur chuckled.

"We…found ways to be together." He nodded.

"And got caught more times than once. That one time you got more than detention when we were caught out all night." Molly shook her head. "I was so worried that you would get hurt, which you did, and that you would resent me for it."

"No, it was worth every stripe. Even now, every minute with you is worth whatever comes."

"Oh, Arthur. The things you say." She smiled into his shoulder. "And then I did fall pregnant." She paused. "I was so worried."

"So was I, but it worked out." Arthur said softly.

"With two month to go until NEWTS, I knew I would be showing. But I had to finish. Then you gave me several jumpers. They hid that little surprise." She giggled softly.

"But you still finished top of the year. I remember how worried you were about the Vows. You fussed that you couldn't find robes that hid your cute bump. I didn't care though. I had you and soon we would have the little one. At least I had a job right away."

"As a lowly clerk." Molly added.

"True. But it was a job. And your dad added another floor to this place for us."

"And then, I worried about what I was to do. I didn't want to lose my dream, but I didn't want to miss a minute away from you and Bill."

"Do you regret it?" Arthur knew the answer, she had said it many times.

"Not for a second." She shook her head vigorously, "I only wish there had been nothing else to worry about."

"Voldemort." Arthur said simply.

"You know, in the first time of our over 30 years together, we're free of him." Molly sat up and turned to face her husband, "I was afraid I would lose you. We raised up seven children with a war over our heads. Will our children live to be adults? Will they fall like my brothers? Will they get to raise their own families without fear? She looked up at the ceiling, as if to frame her words.

"This is why I am so calm. I don't have to worry anymore."

"Not worried about the children?"

"No. Bill is married, Charlie has a secure job, Percy has Audrey, George has his shop and is getting quite close to Angelina, Ron and Ginny are just back from their honeymoons. And Fred…" She paused, fighting back the tear before it could form, "Fred is safe. No one can hurt him anymore." She said defiantly.

"I tend to think of Fred training up the next generation. Maybe with help from Gid and Fab." Arthur chuckled as he laid his palm on her cheek.

"Hehe, we'll have to wait and see who they turn out like. But I like that idea." Molly leaned into his touch. "I just want our grandchildren to as handsome and kind as you."

"And I want them to as beautiful and fiery as you." Arthur kissed her. It made her toes curl and her head spin, just like it did back in 1968.