Title: Finally, His Mother
Word Count: 1009
Summary: Molly considers Harry's role in Ginny's life.
Author's Notes: Written for the Celebrating Moms challenge on the chest_monsters LiveJournal community. It had to include the line "A face only a mother could love", and be no more than 1010 words. I didn't win, but I did come in second! Of course, there were only two stories submitted. Anyway, this wasn't the story I set out to write. It isn't even very close to the story I set out to write. But what do you do when Molly Weasley steps out on stage, fixes you with that gimlet stare, and announces that she will be telling the story, thank you very much? So, here's what Molly wanted to say.
She had been there as her daughter grew up. She had bandaged scraped knees, healed bruises, and dried tears. She remembered, vividly, the incredibly deep heartache and loss she had felt when she had been informed that her daughter (her life!) had been stolen down into the Chamber of Secrets. She also remembered the indescribable elation when Harry (poor, undersized, malnourished Harry) had burst in, half-carrying Ginny. And she remembered that summer; tears, nightmares, and sadness as her beautiful little girl came to grips with the pain and the betrayal she had endured. But over the years, she had also seen her daughter become a vibrant, fiery, self-assured young woman.
Molly took a break from preparing their dinner (a very nice ham with pineapple rings) to look out the window at her girl (a veritable angel), and was startled. Ginny (her Ginny!) was snuggled up closer to her boyfriend than they had any right to be. Why, they were only . . . only . . .Molly deflated. They were 20 and 21, no longer a little girl; no longer a scrawny, bespectacled waif. When had that happened?
Ginny lifted her face to the young man, and they kissed. Molly watched intently, hoping to catch some indication of where their relationship was. Purely because she wanted to be prepared, of course, hence her spying. As the couple's kiss grew more intimate, more heated, Molly found herself becoming semi-irritated with them. Honestly, they were in plain sight! Where anyone could see! And they shouldn't be kissing like that anyway! At least not without a ring, or a contract, or something!
There! They had finally stopped kissing. Molly couldn't deny that her daughter looked happier now than she ever had since she had turned eleven. For that, she was grateful. But should she really depend so much on Harry? What if he left her again? That had to have been the second-worst summer in the history of the Weasley household. Ginny had spent the first part of it holed up in her room, only coming out for food and quick trips to the loo. Molly had felt her heart break along with her daughter's. She cursed the noble streak in Harry that had made him leave Ginny behind, without so much as a promise. Part of her, it must be said, was a little grateful that she wouldn't have to lose her only daughter to the horrible task that poor Harry would be dragging Ron (her baby boy!) and Hermione (her . . . her . . . daughter! she nodded decisively) on as soon as Bill's wedding was over. But after the Trio had left in such a hurry, she and her girl (her one ally against the houseful of testosterone) had had way too much time on their hands, which allowed her to think too much about all the trouble that her son, her sons, her children could be getting into. And it had allowed Ginny to spend her time alternating between cursing Harry, and crying because he was gone. Molly tried her hardest to keep her Ginny occupied, but it had become much too commonplace to find her daughter huddled into a small ball, crying over the black-haired boy.
Molly had no illusions about Harry's wanting to be with Ginny-it was as plain as his green eyes that he adored her. But Molly didn't think she'd be able to live through another period of mourning if Harry left. If they were engaged, or-she scarcely dared even think it-if they were married and Ginny were pregnant, then at least she would be left with something to be going on with.
The couple was heading towards the house now; Ginny with a beaming smile, and Harry with a look of fierce concentration. It reminded her of the duel between Harry and the never-to-be-sufficiently-cursed He-Who-. . . Voldemort! she affirmed fiercely. That was the only other time Molly had seen such a strong determination in Harry's eyes. And when Harry had finally beaten the scaly, snake-like, utterly hideous Voldemort (and wasn't that a face only a mother could love?), that determination had given way to an unaccustomed peace. Molly thought about it now; the fact that Harry had never before really known peace. She hoped, she prayed that Harry could find some measure of contentment with her family. She knew he was happiest when he was with Ginny (and likewise for her daughter) and Molly grudgingly allowed that she would do just about anything (even give up her daughter to an uncertain future) to allow both of her children, the red-haired girl, and the black-haired boy, to fully experience the happiness that only a family brings (although maybe with fewer children).
The back door slammed as the couple came inside, glowing from . . . well, probably the snogging.
"Mum," Ginny said, "Harry has something to say."
"Yes, Harry dear?" Molly answered, and, taking note of the still-determined-though-slightly-fearful look in his eyes, smiled at him and took a seat.
"Um, Mrs. W-Mol-" he stuttered. Taking a deep breath, he started over. "Mrs. Weasley, I want you to know that I love your daughter. I can't express how important she has become to me. But I also want you to know that, um, that I love you, too. You have been as good as a mother to me, and I can't tell you how much that has meant to me. Ginny-" he gave a brilliant smile to the girl sitting next to him (in his lap, almost), "has consented to marry me. . ." Harry had to stop to grin for a moment. "And it seems . . . well . . . I was wondering if you would mind my calling you Mum?"
The look he gave her now was one to tug even the heartstrings of a gorgon. It was that of a puppy who'd been beaten and starved, but who hadn't lost hope that, someday someone would love him for himself. Seeing his face, hearing his voice, she overcame any last reservations about Harry marrying her daughter and wrapped her daughter, and her son, in her best motherly embrace.