Family Secrets (Righteous Anger Remix)
by Mosca

Remix of Family Secrets by Stellamaru

Molly remembered Lucius from school. He'd been a tiny first-year with a shrill voice and a permanent sneer, when she'd been in her last year and already engaged to Arthur. But he'd stood out among the Slytherins for his yellow hair-- strident as his voice-- and his reputation for casual cruelty. She remembered rushing Paresh Patil to the infirmary when Lucius hexed him for being Gryffindor and Asian and convenient, and she remembered how Lucius's gaze clung to her as she led Paresh down the corridor.

She remembered running into Lucius in Diagon Alley some years after they'd both finished school. Arthur had insisted she take a day for herself while he looked after Bill and Charlie, and she'd decided to take a miniature shopping holiday. She'd known better than to spend so much money at once, but she'd been short of supplies for potions, and little boys outgrew in a snap what they didn't destroy.

She hadn't recognized the tall fair-haired man who gallantly offered to help her with her packages. He'd re-introduced himself before inviting her to tea. She'd hesitated when he'd said his name: the Malfoys were not known for unmotivated kindness. But what had once been the leer of a pre-teen bully was then a bit of a compliment-- motherhood had done her figure no favors-- and she'd accepted.

"Have you thought of more children?" Lucius had asked.

"Oh, I don't know," she remembered saying. She'd known that they couldn't afford another, but since Charlie had grown out of babyhood, she'd begun to long for a little girl. "Might be nice to have Arthur all to myself for a bit." She remembered this excuse with a worldly chuckle: whatever would they talk about?

She remembered patting his hand and reassuring him: someday soon, he'd have children of his own. And the rest used to be a blur, a lost hour.

Molly went in for her yearly physical. She learned at the reception desk that the doctor she'd been seeing for years had recently retired, and would she mind seeing Dr. Musgrave instead? She minded, but she supposed there was no way around the passage of time.

Dr. Musgrave was polite enough, considerate enough, more than thorough enough. She returned with a scroll of test results. "You've got an old Obliviate curse on you," the doctor said. "Old and well-hidden. I can remove it for you, if you like."

"Oh," Molly said. "I-- I suppose-- I suppose I want to know."

She had to stay at the hospital overnight for the curse to be removed. Arthur fretted that the restored memory might be worse than ignorance, and he stayed at her bedside all night. Returning home, she couldn't seem to locate any new memories, and she assumed that the procedure had failed. Arthur wisely opted not to ask what had been recovered.

The children came home for the summer soon afterward, and Molly retreated into doting on them. As she stirred lemon squash, she overheard Ron and Ginny, comparing horror stories of Draco Malfoy's bullying. "It's a shame about that family," she said to herself. "Lucius showed me such a kind heart when I had tea with him that day in London."

She knew as soon as she said it that it wasn't true: was no longer and had never been. She felt herself frozen in an Imperio curse, marched to a too-pretty flat and forced onto the bed. She'd been unable to control her body, but she'd kept her eyes fixed on the window. The room had had a western exposure, and she remembered the sting of sunlight in her eyes as he told her to lay her clothes in a pile, spread her legs, kiss him like she loved him.

It hadn't hurt. It hadn't needed to. It had only needed the absence of pleasure or desire.

Percy had been born about nine months later, she realized. She remembered feeling relief at the fine strands of red hair that crowned him. Illogical, postpartum relief. Now, she wondered, and at the same time, she did not want to know.

The Order meetings grew more frequent as the threat of He Who Must Not Be Named bore down on them, and Molly preserved her anger so she could bring it there. She began offering suggestions, formulating plans, taking it upon herself to ensure Harry's safety even when it would have been more practical to leave it to someone else. "You never used to be so political before," Arthur remarked.

"I suppose it's another thing to look after," she said, "now that the children are out of the house."

It was not a thirst for revenge that she felt. It was long ago, and the memory still did not feel quite hers. The hatred had grown hard in her, as it would have if she'd never lost the memory. She maintained her monthly "date night" with Arthur, her enthusiasm undiminished, and when they made love she did not think of Lucius Malfoy's eyes.

She did not think of his eyes at all, but of the final battle, and of six no-longer-children whose hair was as bright as secrets.


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