For the One Character competition: I had to write about Molly at age 65 or older, with the prompts: clear, mirror, count, press, and doubt.
For the As Strong As We Are United competition: I used the prompts: home, lie (I used lay, the past tense of the verb "to lie"), different, childhood, courage, obsession, and pond.
Word Count: 708
Molly Weasley didn't like the way age looked on her. Sixty-eight years old, she faced the mirror in the early morning like she was about to duel, standing fierce and strong and challenging her competitor to try and take her down. She hated that her competitor was old age, was herself. Studying the mirror, she saw silvery hair framing her face, much thinner than it had ever been, and she could no longer count the wrinkles around her eyes.
Her reason for being was to mother, and now her youngest was thirty-seven and had three babies - if they could still be called babies - of her own. Today was September the first. Today, five of her seven children (because there was still Fred. There was always still Fred) would be dropping off children of their own at the Hogwarts Express.
Victoire was already in her final year there, training to be a Healer (the same way Molly had been at that age, which still only felt like yesterday, or maybe last week). Dominique, Roxanne, Molly, Louis, James, Lucy, all going back to Hogwarts. And Rose and Albus joining them this year.
Grandchildren grew up quicker than children did, Molly was sure of it.
Just the night before, Ginny had been there with her whole family. Molly watched them through the window coming up the walk, but she didn't see her daughter and grandchildren: the picture of them was like a window to her own past. Seeing them made her miss the long-ago days of her children's childhood, of scolding and smiling at their antics. Once inside, James and Albus chatted about Hogwarts, while Lily Luna yelled at them for leaving her out. The noise in her house only made her nostalgic.
"Let me come with you to King's Cross tomorrow," Molly said suddenly. "I want to see my grandchildren off."
"I don't know, Mum. It's a tough trip, and these three... they don't make things any easier, that's for sure."
Molly's voice grew cross. "I know that perfectly well, Ginevra. I raised seven, remember?"
"Of course, Mum. But you've had your days at King's Cross. You and Dad took us without Gramma Prewett hovering over your shoulder. I'm just as capable as you are, Mum."
"I know that! This is not like Gramma Prewett wanting to be there! It's completely different. I don't think you're incapable... I just... I miss... I miss being needed. Being a mother is difficult when your children leave childhood."
Ginny smiled sympathetically. "I'm sorry. I can believe that. I already feel that way with James. Second year already! And just like his namesake from what I hear. Speaking of which, how is his other grandfather doing? How's Dad?"
"Oh, you know your father. He's enjoying his retirement." She could feel a twinkle forming in her eye as she spoke. "He spends all his time out in his shop studying the rubber ducks Audrey keeps leaving for him and looking at blueprints of aeroplanes. I think he made some kind of deal with the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Department to keep them away from the Burrow. Retired from there years ago, but still completely obsessed."
They laughed and the evening passed quickly. Molly sent her three grandchildren off with presents and promises to write to the boys while they were off at school. Now, she stood in front of the mirror again. The clear picture grew blurry and as she watched, the wrinkles faded, her hair changed back to red and grew fuller... she imagined herself at age forty but could picture only Ginny. She and her only daughter were so much alike - for better or for worse.
And today, on September the first, her children and grandchildren were at King's Cross without her. She fixed her hair and walked out to the garden and its small pond. The weather was beautiful as eleven o'clock neared. It took courage, she decided, to stay at home when she felt like she needed to be doing something. It took courage to keep from doubting her children's own parenting abilities. But they were raised by the best. She smiled smugly and pressed on toward the back gate, where wildflowers lay thriving in the late-summer sun.