Disclaimer: I own nothing. The characters in this story belong to JK Rowling, whom I thank immensely for creating such a wonderful playground to explore in!
Thanks to Mikee for catching a truly horrendous error!
A Mother's Musings
The winter sunlight streams into the room that Arthur and I have called our 'refuge' since the day we moved into this house. That day is still clear in my mind even though so many years have passed since then. We only had Bill and Charlie then, although Percy was on the way, and the mischief those two could get up to at that age rivaled the twins. It's hard to believe that my little Bill is married now. I suppose someday soon we'll be grandparents.
Grandparents. How does the time fly by so quickly?
My eyes wander through the room, taking in the worn bits and pieces of my life. There's the very first needlepoint pillow that Ginny did, proudly presented to me the Christmas before she left for Hogwarts. What a hard year that was for her. I don't think the others have ever realized how much she relied on them for companionship. The rocker the pillow sits on looks worn and tired, its seat tatty with use, stains on the upholstered back attesting to the many babies who had been lovingly cared for during its lifetime.
I glanced at the clock. There was still some time before Arthur came home, plenty of time to pull the rocker over to the window and find the book I wanted.
Ah, there it was, hiding behind the paperweight Ron made for me when he was five. I can still see his earnest little face as he handed it to me, half wrapped in brown paper. He told me then that it was a golden snitch. When I asked him why he'd made a golden snitch, he told me that it was so I would remember him when he played Quidditch with the Chudley Cannons.
The book has gotten thicker over the years, of course, with each addition to the family. It's a bit of a tradition in the Prewett family, keeping these scrapbooks is, and I saw no reason to let the tradition die out with me. I expect that Ginny will be doing the same some day; she already has one of her friends at school. I couldn't help but notice that Harry appears frequently in it.
I settle myself in my chair; hold the book my hands, smelling the rich odor of the leather that binds the pages together. Such memories.
The first pages are of Arthur and me; after all, without us there wouldn't be any others! There's the collage of our wedding pictures. We look so young; in fact, we were younger than Bill and Fleur. What a wedding it was! Everything was fine at first, Da walked me down the aisle, the bonding ceremony went flawlessly, the first dance went well. The reception was a different story! Arthur's Uncle Thomas put the firecracker in the punch. Pink champagne punch flew all over everyone! I can laugh now, but at the time I wanted to kill him!
The next few pages are of our first home together, a little flat in Hogsmead. It was small, but I thought it was divine. Any place would have been heaven with Arthur in it. It was an easy walk to the school I taught in, and he apparated into the ministry every morning. I brought two babies home to that flat.
William Weasley. I will never forget the day that he made his entrance into the world. Poor Arthur! I do believe he spent more time on the couch during the time I was pregnant with Bill than he has during the rest of the years we've been married! I have never seen him as flustered as he was the day Bill was born. My mum had come to stay with us, and it's a good thing she did. She sent Arthur to firecall for the midwife, and was astonished to find Albus Dumbledore at our front door shortly after that. Apparently Arthur had been so nervous he called out the first name he could think of….our trusted old headmaster. Dumbledore took it in stride of course, just twinkled at us all and apparated away for Poppy Pomphrey. She'd just started working at Hogwarts, and was glad for a break from the children there. She'd eventually see all seven of our children into the world.
The picture of Bill as a baby reminds me of so many things. He was our first miracle, and every day with him was an adventure. He gave us an early sign of his future profession when he managed to unlock the baby gate Arthur had put up between the kitchen and living room at 14 months. We never could keep Bill penned in for long, he always managed to figure out a way around whatever impediment we put in his way. He loved books from the moment we read him his first good night story, it was a love that stood him in good stead through Hogwarts and into his job with Gringotts.
Charlie, our second son, was as unlike Bill as it was possible to be. Not that he wasn't adventurous, he was in his own way, but he never was very interested in books. The backyard was his playground, as his first pictures show. He was never as happy as when he was sitting in a puddle of mud. I guess it was inevitable that he would find his way n the Quidditch field. I still say that he could have played professionally, and in some ways I would have preferred that to his job with dragons. Yes, Quidditch can be quite dangerous, but dragons are just as bad, and much less predictable. The last picture in this section of our memory book is of Charlie in his element on the dragon preserve in Romania.
Turning the page I see the solemn little face of our third son, Percy. Percy was such a good baby, always quiet, always thinking. In some ways that was very refreshing after the first two rowdies! Perhaps that's why I didn't see the signs of his stubborn arrogance while there was time to change it. Of the many mistakes I've made as a mother, I think that's the one I regret the most, that the quiet child didn't get the attention he needed to become a well rounded human being. I thank Merlin that he came back to us when it really counted. I suppose he and Penelope will be having a wedding soon.
I paused before turning the page to the next section. Twin boys are not unusual in the Prewett family, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when Fred and George arrived. They came into this world laughing and then ran through it causing mayhem and mirth. When they were toddlers, I used to call them my Merry Mischief Makers. Bill and Charlie were delighted when the twins were born, this time they had a baby for each of them. The pictures of their growing years show so many different escapades. I suppose the worst was the time they got hold of some muggle blasting powder Arthur had hidden in the shed. By the time they were through, the shed was in pieces and they were covered in soot!
I paused at the last picture in the twin's section, Fred and George at Bill and Fleur's wedding. They look so young and happy, George smiling and waving at the camera and Fred pointing to George's missing ear. A tear escapes my eye and traces its way down my cheek before I swipe it away impatiently. So many tears have been shed in the last few months since we lost Fred. George has seemed so lost without his twin. He has no one to finish his sentences, no one to share his dreams with, and no one to help him with his inventions. It will get better, I know it will, but that doesn't help in the short run. Someone very wise once said "A child isn't supposed to die before their parent." You never expect to bury your child.
Of all my children Ron, our sixth son, is the most like me. He inherited his hasty temper and quick tongue from the Prewett side of the family, and it's something that I have not always been able to help him with. Hermione, on the other hand, seems to have made some headway there, and I expect that eventually Ron will be bringing her by with a ring on her finger. Being the sixth son in a family isn't easy, someone's always ahead of you, you never do something first. Ron has struggled with feeling like he can't measure up to the brothers that have gone before him. Making the Quidditch team and being a prefect seems to have helped him find his way some though, and I have hopes that the days that his hasty tongue and hot temper ruled him are past. The final picture in his section shows the "Gryffindor Trio" as they appeared on Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday, just before they vanished. Their arms are wound around each other, and while they have big grins plastered on their faces, their eyes look haunted and world weary. It's a picture of children forced by circumstances to grow up before their time.
Ginevra Molly Weasley, the first girl Weasley in generations. You would think after that many boys that she would have been pampered and cosseted by all, but you would think that to your detriment! Ginny demonstrated to us all at a very early age that she was at least as stubborn as the boys in the family, and much more ruthless about getting back at them! Ron and Ginny, as the two youngest in the family, were almost inseparable when they were younger. It was so difficult for her to watch Ron start off to Hogwarts while she was left behind, and it was no easier the next summer when he came back full of stories of the fun he'd had with his friend, Harry Potter. Ginny loved stories about Harry from the time she was a wee little thing, the reality of him sitting in her kitchen when he came to visit that summer was more than she could handle. Ginny's first year at Hogwarts was a time that I don't like to remember, Arthur and I felt so helpless when she was taken into the chamber. I will never forget the sight of Harry and Ron, both bedraggled and filthy, bringing our daughter back to us. Ginny is at Hogwarts finishing her final year there, although I know she would have preferred to skip it. I believe Harry was the one whose insistence on her finishing school finally got through to her.
Harry. He doesn't know it, but there is a section in my book for him, too. If things go the way that I anticipate them going Ginny will make sure he is officially part of the family before too long, but I had adopted Harry as one of my own from the first time I saw him sitting in my kitchen, looking thinner than any boy his age ought. I rarely disagreed with Dumbledore, but in the instance of the care of Harry Potter, he and I had quite the disagreement. I don't believe anyone but Arthur knows that I went toe to toe with the man trying to get him to allow us to adopt Harry. No matter how many howlers I sent the man wouldn't budge. In many ways Albus Dumbledore was the greatest wizard of our age, but the man had no idea how to raise children.
I closed the cover on the book and smoothed it with my hand. So many years of memories locked up in this book. A door slams downstairs, making me jump in surprise.
"Molly? Where are you?" Arthur's voice calls from below.
The rocker creaks as I stand and move toward the door, putting the book on the dresser as I go by. "I'm up here Arthur. I'm sorry, time got away from me. I'll get dinner on." I hustle down the stairs, pausing on the landing above the ground floor. Arthur is at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me, his blue eyes glinting merrily.
"Why don't we go out for dinner tonight, Molly?"
"Arthur?" He hasn't looked this mischievous and light hearted for a long time. The war, especially the final days of it, took a lot out of both of us.
He puts his arm around me as I come down the stairs. "We haven't gone out for a long time, Molly my love, and I feel like taking the prettiest woman I know to dinner. Will you come?"
Who can resist an offer like that; I think as I grab my cloak from cupboard by the stairs and follow him out the door, letting it close on my reveries of the afternoon. This old house has seen so many memories, I muse as I close the door behind us. Soon, Merlin willing, there would be new Weasley women and grandchildren aplenty to fill our house and our lives with love. For now, however, my husband is waiting, and the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time.