Title: The Many Qualities of Mercy
Disclaimer: JK owns all - I’m still coping with the fallout.
Spoilers: All seven years at Hogwarts. (Mainly set during OotP, HBP, and DH)
Summary: It’s the softening of a heart that leads to the breaking of it. Millicent learns this all too painfully for her own comfort.
A/N: The Many Qualities of Mercy
“It’s in better shape than I thought,” Millicent pasted a smile to her face as she set Miranda down on the counter.
Miranda scrunched up her nose in distaste and crossed her arms in annoyance. This was her fourth visit to the flat, and the four year old was still determined to hate her new home.
“Not as cool as the Burrow,” Randa huffed. “The rooms are too big, Mummy. We’ll get lost going to the loo!”
“No, we won’t, Randa,” Millicent rubbed at her temple. Her head had been throbbing for the past few days, she ached all over and now on top of it all Randa had adopted Ginny’s attitude toward the move as her own.
“I think it’s just big enough for you to have a very own room of your own,” Percy grinned at her as he levitated three boxes down onto the counter beside Randa.
“You nearly squisheded me, Uncle Percy!” Randa giggled, momentarily forgetting her annoyance with the move and her mother.
“Oh, I am so very sorry. I didn’t notice the tiny imp upon the counter there!” Percy frowned. “I do believe you’ve shrunken.”
“Have not!” Randa chewed at her lip. “Mummy, tell Uncle Percy I haven’t shrunken!”
“Oh, you haven’t?” Millicent teased, poking her side.
“Nuh-uh! I haven’t, ‘pon my honor!” Randa stuck her nose up in the air.
“No, you weigh the same,” Millicent groaned as she plucked Randa off the counter. “I don’t think our Randa has shrunken, Uncle Percy. Upon my honor.”
She fought off the dizzy wave as she set Miranda back down on the floor. The little girl contented herself with the few toys she’d already unpacked and plunked down in the middle of the kitchenette. Millicent stepped aside and gestured for Percy to follow her.
“So, is this the last of it?” he asked quietly, following her into the parlor.
“Nearly all of Miranda’s things, and mine have been here since yesterday,” she nodded. “I haven’t told her that tonight’s her last night at the Burrow.”
“I planned on spending the rest of the night here, getting it all set up for her. The room’s to look exactly like hers’ at the Burrow. And I figured Molly’d want a night with her on her own,” Millicent’s crooked smile wobbled. “It’s her oldest granddaughter, after all. I’m - well, I’m not blood -”
“Mum loves you just as much as she does Ginny, Fleur, Angelina and Hermione,” Percy frowned at her. “You know you’re part of this family, don’t you, Mill?”
“Am I, Perce?” Millicent shook her head. “I’m not. There are days when - when it seems like I’m nothing more than a burden on everyone. Fred’s ‘mistake’.”
“Don’t say that, for it isn’t true.” Percy settled his hands gently on her shoulders.
She didn’t say anything in response, but the look on her face said plenty. She didn’t believe him. Millicent shrugged gently out of his grasp and looked away. After a quick bite of her lower lip, she raised her eyes back to him again.
“I know I’ve imposed on you terribly the last few days, but could I beg off one more favor?” Millicent asked huskily.
“Anything,” Percy leaned in closer to hear her.
“Can you take Randa back to the Burrow? I’d hate to get started and then . . .deal with all of that tonight.”
“Of course. I’ll take her for an ice in the Alley then herd her back to the Burrow.”
A half an hour later, the final touches were done in Miranda’s new room and her little girl was halfway back to the Burrow for her final night. Millicent’s head throbbed and there were moments she felt like crying. But she hadn’t really
cried since Miranda had been born - and before that the night of the Last Battle.
She was in the middle of the parlor when she found herself on the floor. She wasn’t sure how she got there, but there she was. Oh, for the love of . . . ~*~
“I’m worried about her, Percy,” Molly fretted over the now sleeping Randa.
“It’s just a bit of sugar shock, she’ll be better in the morning, Mum,” Percy chuckled.
“Oh, I’m not talking about Randa!” Molly slapped his arm gently. “I’m talking about our Millicent!”
“Mum, she’s just trying to find herself -”
“I know that,
Percy,” Molly frowned at him. “I’m talking about that bug she’s not over.”
“She’s been sniffling horribly the last few days. Do tell me you’ll look in on her before you go on home?”
“Of - of course, I will,” Percy cleared his throat. “I actually have to be running along -”
“Oh, thank you, dear. Do be careful getting home,” Molly brightened as her third-born son nearly ran out of the house.
“Now that was some fine manipulating you did, my dear,” Arthur chuckled from beside her.
“If I didn’t give one or both of them a nudge, I’m bound to never get another grandchild out of either of them,” Molly huffed. “Honestly, I don’t know how many hints I can drop to the pair of them before they open up their eyes and realize they’re meant to be together.” ~*~
“Now, you’re bein’ a bit dramatic, aren’t you, Milli-me-love
,” Fred’s voice trickled over her ears and Millicent was sure she’d gone and died. “Nope, not your time yet.
“In the ghostly flesh. How’re you feeling?”
“If it’s for my sake, don’t bother
“I feel wretched because I’m passed out on my carpet, not because I’m having a conversation with my dead lover.”
“Ah. I see now.”
“What are you doing here, Fred?” Millicent blinked her eyes open, but try as she might she couldn’t see him. “If you’re really here.”
“Oh, I’m here all right. Just watchin’ over you till big brother arrives
“Percy’s nearly on his way. You let him take care of you. Of all you might need, you hear me, Millicent Bulstrode?”
“You’re dead, you can’t boss me around,” Millicent said through a teary sob. “Not that you ever did while you were alive.”
“Let him love you, Mill. You both deserve that, you know.”
“I’m not what he needs -”
always been what he needs. Had it not been me that day, it would have been
him that summer.”
“You were always meant to be a Mrs. Weasley, Millicent,”
Fred’s face popped into view. “I was privileged to be yours first.”
Percy practically flew to her flat and his heart stuttered when he saw her lying on the floor. He couldn’t lose her, not when he hadn’t yet admitted his feelings for her.