Her baby boy was completely healthy. As far as they could tell.
They weren't able to take him to the hospital or even announce so their friends and family know that she and Severus had a beautiful baby boy.
Nivaan was a happy baby. He was constantly smiling, laughing and lifting the spirits of everyone who was near. It was hard to remain sad or down around the small bundle of pure joy.
Late at night when the stars rose when the moon held power and as her beautiful baby boy was sleeping peacefully within his crib, that is when her mind raced and her heart threatened to jump up her throat. She hadn't seen Severus in months, not since they met in the field and decided how they would make her 'disappear'.
Her mind argued that there was still a chance, however small, that he was alive and well but she knew. She knew that something was wrong. He always made sure to see her, check on her and make sure that she was alive and well, but it had been months since she had gazed upon his face and felt his warmth thaw her fears.
Every night under the light of the moon she stood with her sleeping son in her arms swaddled tightly and she waited for him. Nothing stopped her from waiting, not rain, wind or even Molly could pull her from that field each night.
Only when her eyes became weak did she turn slowly and carefully carry her son back inside and up the stairs to their room where she would put him to bed with a kiss. Then she would watch him through the darkness with her wand clutched tightly until the sun began to peek above the horizon, because not even within her dreams could she escape her fears.
She would toss and turned restlessly, seeing the worst her mind could imagine come to life vividly. Her least favourite anxiety was imagining Voldemort forcing Severus to his knees and cheerfully taunting him with her and their child's deaths. Forcing Severus' mind to bear witness to her torture and ultimately her death as their child screamed for her in the darkness.
This was not the only nightmare she had experienced but in her mind, it was the worst. Throughout the day she'd drink a pot or two of tea to keep herself awake and she would avoid closing her eyes, sitting down too long, and being idle. She took a daily pepper-up potion on top of it all and kept the Weasley home spotless in an effort to win her daily fight against her night terrors.
Molly had other plans and often placed sleeping potions within her nightly teas to force her to rest. This strategy was simple and as simple as it was, it was very hard to fight. Molly had hidden all the tea and would only make a pot upon request twice a day.
Without her constant supply of caffeine, she was a goner as it was but Molly was determined to get her to bed, and she did.
Molly may have seemed like a soft housewife but she was very, very clever.
Their son was three months old now and he still had yet to meet his father, but he had met Charlie, and that irked her beyond being reasonable.
Nessa had been asleep one morning after Molly had spiked her tea and when she woke with her wand in hand she found Charlie cradling her child and whispering to him endlessly.
"Mommy will wake up soon buddy."
Her baby boy smiled and laughed at his voice
Charlie rocked him, "Then maybe we can all have lunch together, like a little family."
Her blood began to boil, she out up quickly and oud pointed her wand at his head, "Put him down, Charlie!"
Startled he gripped Nivaan tighter to his chest, "Jesus Nessa. Put your wand down. It's just me."
"Put him down right now, Charlie."
"Why we were having a great time, aren't we buddy?" Charlie cooed softly.
"What gives you any right to hold him, when his father hasn't. And to say we're any kind of family?" She screamed each word at him and felt her anger rising
"He's dead, Nessa. You haven't seen him in months and this little guy needs a man in his life… Why can't it be me?"
"He's not dead!"
Charlie stood and placed Nivaan down and covered him up, "He's working for You Know Who, and you haven't seen him in months. He's dead."
Nessa rose to her feet with her wand still raised at his head, "We haven't heard or seen Harry in months, not since Ron left. Is he dead, Charlie?"
He shook his head and frowned, "That's not funny. You know how much we all care about him."
"Well, I care about Severus!"
Charlie shook his head and approached the bedroom door, "I think you need time to think about this." he turned to look at her, "I'll come back tomorrow."
"No Charlie. Don't come back. We don't need you or want you here. Ever."
"I won't be here for you when you find out he's dead..."
She let out the breath she was holding and steeled herself, "Good, because even then I won't want you"
Charlie didn't come back.
Molly gave her a strange look the next day and even sighed disappointedly, "Is my boy really all that bad?" She asked carefully
"Molly. I'm engaged."
"You're just so young. Beautiful and with your whole life ahead of you."
She raised her hands in surrender, "I just don't know what you see in Severus, after everything he's done..."
"He hasn't done anything wrong. He's risking his life for us."
"He killed Dumbledore!"
Nessa stood and pointed at the woman who had become a motherly figure to her, "He has never turned against us. Everything he's done is because Dumbledore planned it that way."
Her face became red with frustration, "Why would he want to die. He was leading us through this war!"
"No. Harry is leading us through this war and Dumbledore didn't want to die but wheel things out of his control happened he used his life as a tool to save a child's soul," Nessa sat back down heavily, "Dumbledore ordered Severus to prevent that child from committing murder. Even if it meant Severus' would break in the process..."
Molly slumped in her seat and for almost an hour they sipped their tea in silence.
Outside through the window the sun was high in the sky and the wind was gentle and fresh. Nessa wanted to escape through the door with her baby boy and run but she knew that Molly wasn't finished yet.
"I never really knew Severus. We didn't go to school together. We didn't see each other around town, nothing," Molly frowned down at her tea, "I met him through Dumbledore at my first meeting with the Order. He was so young…"
Molly fiddled with her mug of tea and looked up, "... and when Dumbledore had explained who he was. I was scared. He was a Death Eater."
"Was." Nessa emphasized starting to feel exhausted
"I had no idea why he would bring him around, why he would put so much trust into him."
"Has Severus ever done anything untrustworthy?"
Molly shook her head, "I suppose not, but he was never very friendly."
Faintly a cry rang out from the other room, Nivaan was awake now and probably hungry, so Nessa stood and went to her sweet boy.
Molly followed after with a nappy and a blanket just in case.
He was crying his heart out, face red and arms flailing as she picked him up, "Hello sweet boy. Are you hungry?"
His cries softened but he was still visibly upset. Nessa changed his happy and soothed him with soft tones as she caressed his arms and legs as she made herself comfortable for his feeding.
Molly watched longingly and lovingly from nearby, ready to help if need be.
"The only thing I ever knew about Severus was his relationship with Lily. Everyone knew, but no one said anything about it until one day Arthur asked Remus what was going on."
Nessa looked up at her and gave her full attention.
"Remus told us about their friendship. They were friends all through school, no one could come between them until The Death Eaters started recruiting. They befriended him and that put a strain on their relationship until they had their falling out. Remus told us about how everything fell apart when he officially joined up with You Know Who. How Lily wanted nothing to do with him and how eventually Lily ended up with James when he finally got his head out of his arse."
She hadn't heard that name before, "Lily?"
"Harry's mother, she was killed by You Know Who when he was just a baby. Only months old on Halloween."
"Poor Harry, no child should ever have to lose a parent." she clutched her suckling son tighter, "Poor Severus as well, I'm sure he was devastated. I'm glad he changed enough to try and make up for his mistakes."
Molly fiddled with her wedding ring, "I suppose he has…"
Nessa rocked Nivaan slowly, "Molly, were you ever truly a friend to Severus?" She asked softly
"What do you mean?"
"Did you ever make an effort to get to know him? Invite him to events? Smile at him? Anything?"
After a moment she shook her head, "I guess not but he was always so upset."
"Well the love and best friend of his childhood had died and then when he wanted to make it right everyone on this new side he joined hated him, treated him terribly. Sirius, Remus… All of them are blaming him, still to this day I'm sure they do. Your children picked up on this hate and fear, as hell as every new member. I know his attitude doesn't help but neither do your actions. So why in the world would he ever want to be kind to any of you?"
Before Molly could defend herself Nessa continued, "He made mistakes and he lost her. When he realized his part in her death he went to Dumbledore and after that he did anything he was told to make up for her death. He never stopped caring, or loving her, that's why he's doing this."
"After all this time?"
"Always. Love doesn't die with the deceased. It changes overtime but it never goes away."