written for the QLFC round 13 game.

prompts —

CHASER 1: Knight; write about a normally timid character going into battle

(dialogue) "What makes you so sure it was me?"

(word) royalty

(song) Poker Face — Lady Gaga

word count: 1262 (not counting A/N)

a/n: well, i'm doing molly weasley because she is more of a housewife and less of a battle-oriented character, and i suppose that could be counted as timid (plus the iconic "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!") molly, you queen

a little bit of cursing in this fic, i should probably mention that

also, like i really want to listen to reputation but i'm lazy and cheap so i have to wait for spotify to get it (shakes head)

this is slightly AU, as in fred makes it to the makeshift hospital before dying there.

moving onto more serious matters:

this story is for Jill.

Jill, if you ever read this — i don't actually know you. but i am reserving on QLFC for you. and i'm truly really sorry for what you and your family and your friends are undoubtedly going through. so this is for you in hopes that you make it and that you're alright.

best wishes, victoria xo

. . .

"Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun" — Lady Gaga, "Poker Face"

. . .

Molly Weasley is a mother, and she is a housewife. She doesn't fight battles very often. Actually, she's never fought a battle before — but that is quite irrelevant.

Tonight, Molly Weasley is a warrior. She kills, and she has no regrets.

. . .

There are moments before the battle happens, obviously. Molly makes sure that Ginny stays safe — she knows that her daughter will return to fight, but she can delay it for as long as she can.

"Mum," Ginny says to her, affronted, "why can't I go? You do this every time. 'Ginny, you're too young,' 'Ginny, you're too weak,' 'Ginny, you're a girl and girls don't fight —'"

"Whenever did I say those last two?" interjects Molly, Ginny's affrontation transferring to her. "You might be young, and you might be a girl, but that certainly doesn't mean you're a frail damsel in distress! You are my daughter, damn it, Ginny, and you're better than this!"

"Oh," mutters Ginny. "Oh, I see. So this is the way it is?"

"This, how?"

"This!" she's gesticulating to the air around her; Ginny's face is red as her hair, flushed with anger. "You trying to make me feel better about not fighting like 'You're better than this!' as if I need to stay still, sit and look pretty like a little doll while some knight boy in shining armor comes to save me when this room goes up in flames and Avadas?"

"Oh," Molly sighs. Her words apparently have a different effect on Ginny entirely. "Knights? They're not always men, and they're not always wearing armor. And you are a knight, Ginny darling. I know that you'll be going out soon. I know. And I just want to delay it as much as possible, because you're my little girl, still 11, boarding that Hogwarts train...and you were possessed by the man you want to fight, and I just — how much have I failed as a mother…?"
"Mum — mummy! Oh, that's not what I meant!"

"I know. I know...and I want you to know...if neither of us makes it...live your life. Because regrets, honey? I have none, and you shouldn't either."

"Mum…" breathes Ginny. "I will never have any regrets about you — we are going to make it, this family. Because we're the Weasleys, Merlin, and we're going to pull through."

"That's my girl. That is all I want out of you."

. . .

Because Molly Weasley is a mother and a housewife she makes sure to count her brood and keep them in check.

Tonight she does the same with her family — they might not have been born to her, but oh, they are family nonetheless.

Arthur and Harry and Ron and Fred and George and Bill and Charlie and Fleur and Hermione and even Percy; she gathers them, and she speaks to them in her stern 'mother' voice.

"Now — we need to go over some ground rules. Number one," she says, "stay alive. Number two, stay away from dangerous Death Eaters. Number three, don't be afraid to kill, but stay clear. And number four, don't join the Death Eaters, you idiots."

They nod. Molly nods back.

"Go, then, and don't come back until snake-eyes is dead, understand?"

. . .

Molly resorts to trickery — she values her own life and would rather not engage in one-on-one combat with trained Dark wizards, thank you very much; she sets up sneaky spells and sly jinxes in random spots that the Order would know to avoid but the Death Eaters would not. She spots one of the black-cloaked figures strutting about the third-floor like royalty, and promptly raises her wand for a nonverbal Jelly-Leg Jinx.

The little rat collapses immediately. Molly smirks.

She can feel the presence of someone behind her, see their shadow — Molly whirls to face Remus Lupin.

"Remus!"

"Ah, Molly," he replies. "Nice jinx." He nods toward the writhing Death Eater on the ground. "I hear a Death Eater was injured by some smartly placed Venomous Tentacula and Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, that was really some marvelous strategy."

"What makes you so sure it was me?" she answers.

"Your spellwork," says Remus. "That screamed 'Molly Weasley.'"

"Hmm…" hums Molly. "We'll see how many more Death Eaters will scream with my spellwork tonight."

Remus smiles thinly. "That's the spirit, Molly. Do kill some of those bastards for me — particularly that Lestrange bitch. She was responsible for Sirius's death."

. . .

Life, muses Molly, is quite like that Muggle game Russian Roulette. Arthur had played once and Molly had practically flayed him alive with her screaming.

This battle is quite like that game aside for a Muggle Killing Curse called a gun. She thinks she might remember Arthur singing "Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun," in some odd Muggle song with an insanely catchy beat, and she had again given him a word-flaying that night.

Oh, it's like that with Fred. George comes up to her, crying, and gasps, "Fred, mum, Fred."

And Molly gasps with him, thinking, Not Fred...no, not Fred…

"Will he make it?"

"I'm not sure," George replies somberly. "It's critical. Very. He could be dead in the blink of an eye. Gone."

"No," cries Molly, "not Fred. Oh, Merlin, take me, but Fred!"

"Don't say that. Mum — we need you. Don't say that — please."

Five minutes later, there is news. Fred is dead; he came very close to surviving, but did not. Molly cries, and so does George, and they sit there, in the crumbling ashes of what used to be their school — grief intertwining with tears and salt and bitterness, in a sadness genetic like family.

. . .

Molly is more willing to combat one-on-one when Harry is dead in Hagrid's arms like a rag toy and she is grieving for her family, but she needs to get it together, because We're the Weasleys, Merlin, and we're going to pull through.

There is Fred and Remus and Tonks and sobs at the news and cries at the last memories of them, there is anger and sadness, and then there is a shot of green light at Ginny —

Molly cannot see a thing, but Molly can feel that her daughter is okay; for a split second there had been a sinking, deep feeling in her chest and Oh, no, Ginny's dead…

No, she is not dead, but so close she had come, like a bullet from a gun one barrel away from hitting her skull. That feels like anger and that feels like sadness, and that is the source of Molly's rage, because Ginny might be young and she might be reckless, but she is Molly's little girl and she will not be lying dead, a corpse like Fred or Harry or Remus or Tonks. No, Ginny is a Weasley, and Ginny will pull through, but there is someone tonight, a cackling lady named Bellatrix Lestrange, who will not. How she laughs and taunts Molly's daughter — unacceptable. That bullet a barrel away from killing Ginny will hit Bellatrix Lestrange dead center and blow her brains out, Molly will make damn sure of it.

Molly will kill the Lestrange woman, that little dog who dared to try to kill her Ginny, who tried to lay arms on her family — oh, that Lestrange woman will pay. And there is Remus's promise Molly must keep, too. Because she might not have liked Sirius but she wants him to know she might've cared a little; she wants him to know she's going to kill his killer and make his death worth something.

"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"

Regrets, honey? She has none.