Chapter six…

In which there are silent car rides and reconciliations…

The year was over as quickly as it had begun, and before Lucy knew it, she was back on the platform at Kings Cross, with her father and a silent Molly. Lorcan and Lysander had left quickly one arriving at the platform, being swept away by their parents to head off on an expedition to Nicaragua or some place similar. Franklin had been met by his mother and younger sister, Alice, and had left to return to their flat above the Leaky Cauldron. Orla's father had arrived around the same time as the Scamanders and they had side-long apparatus home almost immediately. Percy was the last to arrive at the station and soon after arriving had loaded the two girls into the dinky little car that the family only kept for trips to muggle London and so that Percy didn't get out of practice.

The twins sat in the back of the car as Percy drove the car out of the city. Lucy had her legs tucked up against her chest so that she could fit in the backseat. Molly sat in a similar way, purposefully staring out the window away from her. It was a surprisingly blue day outside and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. They had left London about an hour earlier and the roads that they were driving down seemed scarce in comparison. After about an hour and a half, Percy cleared his throat and decided to pipe up.

"So," Percy called back into the silent car, "Anything exciting happen at school this year?" The pair glanced at each other briefly but remained silent, "Any new friends or interests?" He asked. Silence again. Percy sighed, "Does anyone want to tell me what's going on, and why you two are so quiet?" Neither girl answered him, "Alright ladies. If no one's talking then you have just earned yourselves the pleasure of listening to all of the delightful details of the latest cauldron regulation report."

"Herbology!" Lucy blurted in a panic, "I'm really good at herbology and potions." Percy laughed. He seemed to have healed while they had been away.

"There she is." He chuckled good naturedly.

"Professor Longbottom says I have a real talent for it." She continued quickly, in case he really did break out a recent cauldron regulation report, "He said I should look into working as a healer when I'm older."

"That's wonderful, Goose." He said. Lucy could see he was smiling in the rearview mirror, "What about you Molly?"

"Charms." She said simply, not looking away from the window. Percy looked suspicious, but said nothing.

"Good. What about friends? Any new friends?"

"Yeah," Lucy said as Molly glared over at her, "My housemates Lorcan and Orla."

"What are they like? I didn't get too many details in your letters." He said, shooting her a look.

"They're nice. Orla is really sweet, but she sort of scatter-brained. Lorcan is a little hot tempered sometimes, but he's a total softie. Especially with his brother."

"What about you, Molly? Any new friends?" He asked as they steered into the driveway of their little cottage. Molly didn't answer, simply hopping out of the car and stalking into the house. Percy's eyes followed her from the front seat before turning back to Lucy, "Well she's in a state, isn't she?" Lucy glanced at where Molly had been sitting.

"Yeah, I guess." She said, climbing out of the car, following Percy over to the trunk to help carry in the girls' luggage, "How have you been, Dad?" Percy handed her her own trunk as he unloaded the car, taking Molly's himself. He nodded at the question.

"I've been well. I've missed you two a lot." He said, closing the trunk with a hard click, "I've arranged it so that I'm working shorter hours this summer." He added as the two walked back towards the house, "I want your holiday to be all about the three of us spending time together. As a family." Lucy smiled and followed him into the family's warm little cottage. The two plopped down the trunks at the door and Percy immediately walked over into the kitchen, "Want something to eat?"

"You sound like Grandmum." She laughed at him, pulling herself up onto one of the high stools at the nook.

"I guess she's rubbed off on me. She gave me a real tongue lashing for working too much while you two were away." He chuckled, peering through the cabinets, "What do you want?"

"Do we have any almonds?" She asked, leaning onto her elbows. Percy glanced back at her, his brow furrowed in confusion.

"Almonds?"

"Yeah."

"But you hate almonds." Lucy shrugged.

"Not anymore." She said. Lysander had a deep fondness for them, so he always had them handy to share. He shook his head at her, pulling out a small plastic container of raw almonds and placing it in front of her.

"Huh. You've grown up so much this past year, it's like I don't even recognize you." His face drooped sadly, "I'm sorry, Luce."

"No, Dad, don't be. Please, I'm fine." She insisted quickly. Percy sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.

"I know. I just wish I had been better to you and your sister through all of this." Lucy gave him a small smile.

"I know dad." She said kindly, "It's ok." She opened up the almond container, "Almond?" He chuckled at her, and plucked one out of the container, tossing it into his mouth.

"You should probably go and get changed for dinner soon." Percy said, standing up and straightening the muggle clothes he had worn to pick up the girls from the station, "We'll be leaving for the Burrow in a little bit.".

"Ok." Lucy said, shoving a fistful of almonds into her mouth.

"Don't choke." He laughed as she jogged up the stairs to her room.

"Yeah, yeah." She called back around her mouthful of almonds, closing her door behind her. Despite the warmth outside, Lucy's room was a bit colder than the the rest of the house. She quickly discovered that her bedroom window was now solidly stuck open a crack and refused to budge, no matter how much she tugged at it. She could only assume that her father had probably opened it to cool off the house, but now it had turned against her. She sighed and quickly gave up on the window turning to her closet and changing into and old blue sundress and a worn denim jacket that used to belong to Audrey. She breathed in the scent of her clothes. It was something like cinnamon. Chai, she finally realized. It smelled like the scented oil that Orla had given her for her birthday that year. She smiled at the aroma. She would owl Orla that night after dinner, then maybe she could try and get in touch with Lorcan, wherever he was. She hurriedly stepped into an old pair of flats and bounced down the stairs back to the den. Molly, in her usual fashion, had beaten her down there, already dressed for dinner, with a book in her lap.

"You're still reading Great Expectations?" She asked incredulously. Molly wasn't a slow reader by any stretch and never reread books. Normally she would have finished a book like that in a week tops, but she still had it almost a year later, and she was barely halfway. Molly flicked her eyes up to her before looking back down to the page. Percy adjusted his glasses, raising his eyebrows at the pair.

"Alright," He said slowly, deciding that he would sit them down and talk to them about whatever it was that was going on after dinner, "it's time to leave." He gestured to the fireplace. Molly snapped the book closed, putting it down on her chair and mutely tossing in the floo powder.

"The Burrow." She called simply before jumping in.

"You next." Percy urged and Lucy obeyed following her sister through the floo, where she arrived at the Burrow. She teetered a little bit, but managed to keep her balance as Percy arrived behind them.

"Perce!" Cried a jovial voice from the swirling mass of redheads that had begun to congregate in the den. After a moment, George emerged with Verity following close behind. The two had been close since the end of the war, but when Angelina had left George, Roxanne, and Fred, Verity had stepped in, acting as the children's stand-in mother. Despite the fact they were nearly inseparable and the children loved her as if she was their own mother, it seemed they had no intentions of getting married, much to his mother's chagrin. Percy smiled at his brother.

"Hello George. Hello Verity." George clapped him on the back and pulled him into a hug. Verity laughed.

"Hi Percy." She said, turning to Molly and Lucy, "Hey ladies, how are you?"

"Good." The answered in unison, suddenly turning to scowl at each other. Verity laughed.

"Huh. Roxie and Fred do that too." She said, not noticing the tension between the two girls, "Must be a twin thing, huh?" Lucy turned away from her sister and shrugged. George released Percy and turned to the girls.

"What? Aren't you going to give your poor uncle a hug?" He said with a mock pout, holding out his arms. The two girls obeyed, letting him pull them into a bear hug, "How have two been?"

"Good." They said together, again. George laughed.

"Woah there!" He said with his usual grin, "What is this? The Shining?" They gave him a confused look. He gave a dismissive wave, "Muggle movie, never mind. I'll show it to you one day. Anyways, all of the kids are upstairs. Why don't you two go and join them?" Molly quickly ignored him and walked out into the garden. Lucy glanced after her, but turned and went up the stairs instead.

After the war, as the Weasley children began to have children of their own, the house began to become cramped, and had been magically expanded several times as the family kept growing. Lucy darted up the stairs until she reached a room that had once belonged to Bill Weasley. The door hung open and she could see Louis, lazily stretched out on his stomach and Franklin, who was twirling his wand like a baton as he sat on the bed. She grazed the door frame with her knuckles.

"Knock, knock." She called into the room. The glanced over to her.

"Hey Luce."

"May I enter?"

"Knock yourself out." Franklin said, studying her in her dress, "You look nice." Lucy grinned at him.

"Why thank you!" She said in a mock posh tone. Louis's eyes followed the pair, his expression darkened a little bit as Franklin tossed an arm over her shoulder in a half-hug.

"Get a room why don't you." He muttered, tugging at the fibers in the rug. Lucy quirked an eyebrow at him.

"What?"

"Nothing." He said, shaking his head. His hair had gotten a little longer since the beginning of the year, and it now curled up around the back of his collar, "How's Uncle Percy?"

"He actually seems a lot better." Lucy said happily, "It almost seems like things are back to normal." Louis and Franklin nodded at her kindly.

"I'm glad." Louis said, shifting off his elbows on the floor.

"Yeah." Franklin grunted from where he sat beside her. Lucy nodded.

"Where are your friends going over holiday?" Louis asked.

"Orla's visiting family in Wales." She responded simply. Franklin wrinkled his nose.

"Which one is she?"

"The little one." Lucy clarified, "She's got the curly hair." Franklin nodded with a laugh.

"Oh yeah!" He said, still laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing." He snickered, "We talk about her in Gryffindor sometimes." Lucy furrowed her brow at him. Just then there was a knock at the door. Molly Weasley, in a sauce splattered apron stood before them.

"Dinner time." She said with a smile, turning towards Lucy, "Will you get your sister from the garden dear?" Lucy nodded reluctantly and followed her down the stairs into the den.

She slipped between the bodies of her relatives that were pressed into the tiny space. The heat in the place was making her flush furiously and feel a bit faint. After a fair amount of jostling, she escaped the crowd and stepped out into the garden. The evening air smelled sweetly of flowers and the sky's brilliant blue of the earlier day has been washed away to reveal streaks of orange and violet lining the sky. She took a deep breath, the cool air burning her nose. She couldn't hear much, with the exception of a pair of garden gnomes who were bickering out on the grass. That was when Lucy heard the noise. A small soft hiccup from an unseen corner of the yard. She quirked any eyebrow and peered across the garden before spotting the source: a small dainty hand that was visible from behind a large tree. Lucy stepped down from the porch, which groaned as her weight left the planks and plodded across the grass, hearing the crisp sound of it crinkling beneath her shoes. When she reached the tree, the crying was more audible and she could hear someone's throat catching as they tried to breathe, only to be interrupted by a sob. Lucy quietly angled herself against the tree's trunk and peeked around to see the source.

"Molly?" She whispered. Molly quickly smeared all the tears off her face with her hands in an attempt to show Lucy that she hadn't been crying, but her face was too pink and her eyes were red-rimmed. Her delicate white blouse was dappled with dark, wet patches. She snuffled quickly, "Are you ok?" Molly looked up at her with a hardened expression and opened her mouth to berate her only to snap it shut again moments later. Her face became more gentle and soon she was covered in her tears again, shaking as she stared up at Lucy.

"I'm so sorry." She sobbed, pushing her face into her hands as Lucy sat beside her at the tree's base, "I just, I," she didn't finish as her sobbing got louder, and she began choking on every breath. Lucy quickly pulled her sister close to her, holding her head against her shoulder, pulling the rest of her body practically into her lap.

"Shh, it's ok, Molls." She whispered, rubbing gentle circles on her back which shook with each breath, "I'm sorry too."

"No," Molly hiccuped, pulling just far enough away to look Lucy in the eye, "you don't have to apologize. You didn't do anything wrong. You just wanted to be your own person. I get that now." She wiped her nose with her sleeve and turned her eyes to the grass, "You were right. I was being selfish. I can see that now. I-I don't hate you, I was just mad, I swear." Lucy gave her a small smile.

"I know." She said gently.

"Everyone in Ravenclaw hates me." She muttered, leaning her head back on Lucy's shoulder, the dampness off her cheek causing Lucy's sleeve to stick to her, "All the other girls think I'm weird and no one will talk to me. Not even Vicky!" Lucy hushed her gently, pulling her a little bit closer.

"Shh, it's ok. Everything's gonna be ok."

"I'm sorry Lucy."

"I know." She whispered, pressing a kiss to her forehead, "Dad was right. We're all we have. We can't let anything like this get between us ever again." Molly nodded, wiping away the last of her tears.

"Agreed." She said, clearing her throat. Lucy clambered to her feet, holding out her hand to Molly.

"C'mon, let's go back inside." She said, pulling Molly to her feet.

"Ok." She said softly allowing Lucy to lead her inside, "Lucy?"

"Yeah?"

"I love you."

"I love you too, Molly." Lucy said with a smile before the two of them reentered the hot, thick air of the burrow.