Family Secrets
by StellaMaru

Lucius remembered Molly from school. She was in her last year when he started, and in another house, but he remembered her. Her family was distantly connected to the Malfoys--as most pureblood English families were--and his mother had mentioned something about a 'poor cousin Molly', so Lucius remembered looking for her on the first night, after the sorting.

She was tiny, barely taller than he was at age eleven, and as delicately built as a fairy's wing. She smiled and joked with her friends, never sparing a glance at the Slytherin table. When Lucius watched her the following week, lazing in the remains of the summer's heat, he noticed that her long brown hair flashed copper in the sun, like a secret.

That brute, Arthur Weasley, had laid claim to Molly long before Lucius set eyes on her. Arthur was solid and had a shock of plain red hair. Thinking of Weasley's hands on Molly's tiny body made Lucius uncomfortable.

Of course she married Weasley, and had two sons almost immediately. Lucius put her out of his mind and cultivated his own match with Narcissa Black. It was a stunningly brilliant match, both families agreed. "Think how beautiful the children will be," Narcissa's mother had said as she touched Lucius's fine hair.

He'd been out of school for two years, and married to Narcissa for one, when he first came into contact with agents of the Dark Lord, and learned of his plans.

They were plans that sent Lucius's heart racing with promises of untold power, of every desire answered, and of the establishment of a proper order to things. It was everything his father talked about behind closed doors, only this would really happen; this was powerful and clear. All Lord Voldemort asked for in return was loyalty and obedience, as was his due.

Running into Molly, alone in the streets of London, a year later was entirely accidental. Or, at least it could be construed as such, should anyone ask.

She smiled at him warmly and accepted his invitation to join him for tea. Bearing two sons had thickened her waist--she would never be called 'delicate' again--but her hair still held bright secrets.

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

"Oh, I don't know. Bill will be starting at Hogwarts soon, and Charlie not long after. Might be nice to have Arthur all to myself for a bit," Molly said as she sipped her tea. "And yourself?"

Lucius frowned. He'd wanted to start having children as quickly as he could. He wanted a houseful of Malfoy sons, and one or two daughters (for marrying off). Narcissa had yet to conceive.

Molly clucked reassuringly. "It sometimes takes longer for others," she said, patting his hand.

Perhaps that was the last piece to fall into place, Lucius thought later. He'd invited her to tea with only a half-formed plan, the barest idea of a plan. If she hadn't patted his hand in that sympathetic--condescending, Lucius thought--manner, she might have ended the day with a peck on the cheek and a promise to stay in touch.

Instead, he walked her out of the shop and when she stumbled, dropping her packages, he knelt to help her pick them up. When she looked up in thanks, he was ready.

"Imperio," he said, shivering at the jolt of power using the Unforgivable sent through his spine. "Come now."

He led her to a flat he kept, one that had western exposure. In the bedroom, he opened the blinds and let the sun shine down on her, awakening the fire in her hair. Her eyes were confused and frightened, but her body was pliant.

He had her twice. She had to be told everything to do step-by-step the first time, but the second went much easier.

The sun set, taking with it the spark of her hair, and Lucius told her to get dressed. "That was lovely, Molly," he said, smirking. "I shall always remember it. Unfortunately, you will not."

He handed her all of her packages and took out his wand, leaning down to nuzzle her soft neck. His wet kiss turned to a sharp bite and suck, and he spoke into her ear: "Obliviate." He pulled her collar up and watched her face change as the memory charm took effect. "Now run along home."

The thought of her discovering the bite, perhaps while she prepared to rut with Weasley, gave Lucius a jolt of cruel pleasure.

That night, Lucius accepted the Dark Mark on his arm.

When Percy joined the Weasley clan nine months later, Molly was vaguely relieved to see his bright red hair. "Though what other color it might be, I don't know," she muttered to herself, with a shake of the head.


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