Summary: Molly dealing with being the mother of six very unruly boys.
Warnings: None, really, other then this is not a fluffy characterization of Molly as a mother.
Characters: Molly, Arthur and the six boys, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George and Ron.
Word Count: Somewhere around 2,330
Disclaimer: Not my characters, and no money is being made. JK Rowling owns all, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Molly rolls over at the sounds of the baby stirring in the cot beside her. In one fluid move, she is out of bed with him against her shoulder, comforting him before his grunts and soft cries become any louder. She steals a glance at her softly snoring husband and sighs with fatigue. Arthur works so hard and she hates for the children to disturb him at night if she doesn’t have to.
“Shush, darling,” she murmurs as she settles down in her rocker, pushing her shift aside with one hand and positioning the baby with the other. Leaning her head back, she briefly closes her eyes as the baby latches on and her milk lets down. If she allows herself to dwell on it she could almost feel her very essence leaking through her ducts and into the hungry mouth of her son.
As it now has five times before.
It comes as no surprise she’s lost all sense of who Molly Prewett Weasley was before she became a mum. Where has that carefree girl gone? Snapping open her eyes and staring into the gloom of her bedroom, she stops this train of thought immediately.
Dwelling on it will only increase her fear of going mad.
He’s hungry little bugger, her Ron, six months old and already fiercely independent. She brings her head down and nuzzles his fuzzy red head, rubbing her chin along his softness. Her lips press together and she shakes her head once sharply in denial as she remembers how emotionally detached she was towards him hours after he was born.
Fortunately for her, she can no longer remember when he went from just being another mouth to feed to her beloved sixth son, but she knows sometimes she’s so very overprotective of him because of it. Now she treasures these moments when it is just him and her, and everyone else in the house is asleep. When she can be with him alone, counting his fingers and his toes, inhaling his baby smell and marking him as her own.
Unfortunately, as the sound of a thump and a cry come from the other side of the wall, these moments are few and far between. She closes her eyes in exasperation when two little voices suddenly blend and become one. They never can do anything just by themselves, even falling out of bed.
She looks down at the baby. He’s just started eating and if she dislodges him to go to them now, he’ll never go back to sleep. It just can not be helped. She’ll have to awaken Arthur.
Now, where is her wand? She fumbles on the table alongside her chair, and once found, she murmurs a spell at her husband’s back. The snores became snorts as he rouses himself from sleep and searches her side of the bed with his hand. “Wha? Whah izit, where you, Molly?”
She can not hold back a smile at the sight of Arthur’s hair sticking up like a frightful porcupine. Her silent laughter causes a jump in her chest that makes the baby open his eyes and smile around her nipple. “The twins, Arthur. It sounds as if one fell out of bed and the other is crying in sympathy. Can you?”
The covers slide to the floor as he stands up, scratching and yawning hugely. “Of course, Molly.”
Molly is gently putting the sleeping baby down in his cot when Arthur returns. She watches her small son for a moment, feeling a slight twinge of envy at how hard he sleeps when he chooses to. His tiny mouth makes smacking noises in his sleep and she wonders if he’s dreaming of milk. “All quiet now?” she whispers to Arthur as she pulls a blanket up to the baby’s chin.
Arthur stands in the center of the room like a man with a sudden brainstorm. “Is the baby sleeping?” he whispers as he crosses the room and stands behind his wife.
“Yes, what is this about, Arthur?”
His arms wrap around her middle and his hands come up to cup her heavy breasts. He looks down at her and it is impossible for her not to see the twinkle in his eye. “It’s quiet, Molly. All the boys are asleep. All of them. And we're awake.”
It takes a moment for his words to sink in and when they do, Molly looks up at him as he lowers his mouth to hers. “Oh,” she whispers as he takes her hand and guides her to the bed.
From below something crashes against the flagstones in the kitchen.
“Oh, no,” Molly says, sitting up in bed. Dim, gray light fills the room through the windows. It’s raining. Again. This means the boys are stuck in the house all day, with her and the baby.
Whatever has fallen over and crashed to the floor has awoken Ron and he begins to wail. She gives a little thought to why Arthur has not woken her before he left and then shudders at the idea of her sons up and alone downstairs without her. How long have they been awake? She sniffs the air as she throws back the covers. No smoke.
She pulls on her wrapper, picking up the baby and her wand, trying to calm him as she flies down the stairs.
With a flick of her wand, the kitchen door swings open ahead of her and the sight of four little boys who look extremely guilty cause her to pause. Both of the twins are crying loudly behind Bill, the oldest and Charlie looks as if he wants to start. She does a quick head count. The baby is still wailing against her shoulder.
“Mummy, mummy, mummy,” Fred cries as he runs out from behind Bill and clings to her wrapper. “Mummy, I want you! Pick me up!” Not wanting to be left out, George crawls over to where she stands and begins to echo his twin.
“Bill?” Molly says again as she tries to extract her leg from Fred’s grasp. He is not having any of it and wiggles around her like a worm. “Fred! Let go of Mummy before you make me fall! I have ickle Ronnie in my arms!” George has taken up residence on her other foot, his little fingers tickling behind her knee.
Charlie starts loudly arguing with Bill, who is doing everything in his power to ignore his mother. She screams at them to stop, and they both go still, while the younger ones continue to cry. Bill has his hands behind his back, causing Molly to narrow her eyes at him. “Where is your brother, William Arthur Weasley? You had better let me know right this very instant or I will summon your father home so fast your wee head will spin!”
There is a very sour smell wafting up to her nose from below. Not in their nappies, again! They were doing so well with the toilet training! The smallest of the six is still wailing in her ear and with the sound of a muted trumpet, he fills his diaper. She feels the percussion against her hand and closes her eyes for a moment, wanting to keep her tears of frustration at bay.
When she opens them, Bill is backing away from her towards the door. She flicks her wand and her oldest jumps away as the locks tumble in their casing.
“I was letting Percy back in!”
Molly stamps her foot, accidentally hitting one of the twins, causing him to howl even louder. “What!” She shrieks over the din. “It’s freezing and raining outside! You get your brother inside right now!”
A flick of her wand and the hand me down pram appears in the kitchen. She puts the screaming Ron into it and runs to the back door as Bill leads a very cold and wet Percy into the house.
“You, you, you and you in chairs at the table this very instant!” She screeches as her temper gets the best of her. “Oh Percy!”
A stream of red light leaves her wand and ignites the dry wood waiting in the fireplace. She conjures the spread from her bed and winds it around the shoulders of her four year old son as she presses him to her bosom. “How could you!” she cries at Bill before murmuring another spell and hot air flies from the end of her wand, drying Percy’s wet hair. She wipes his streaming nose with one end of her wrapper and then uses the other end to wipe the tears from his face. “You know we have no Pepper-Up Potion left and can not afford to buy more until your father gets paid next week!”
Only when she turns from lecturing her oldest son does she notice the destruction of her kitchen. Plates and glasses lay shattered in front of the sink, and the milk jug has been overturned, covering the tablecloth with white liquid. This can be repaired; Molly, she thinks urgently, one flick and everything can be the way it was.
But it can not ever been the way it was before! Before they came!
“Charlie, take Fred and George and change their nappies.”
“Now!” She cries at the top of her lungs, knowing she has to get her children from the room before she suffers them bodily harm. When the door shuts on him and the wails of the crying twins soften, she turns to Bill. “Take Ron and change his nappy. When you’re done, bring him back to me to be fed. Then I want you to go to your room until I come to speak to you. Do you understand?”
The sounds of Ron’s wails are beginning to make her head throb. Bill opens his mouth to protest, but Molly holds up her hand to silence him. “Now, Bill. As it stands at this very moment, you’ve lost your broomstick for the week. Do you want to make it worse for yourself?”
Bill lowers his head, chastised. “No, Mummy.”
“Then please, please do as I ask.”
He is gone. She sinks into a kitchen chair and places her head in her hands and squeezes her palms against her temples. Every now and then a sniffle comes from beside the fireplace, but otherwise, the room is silent.
How did she ever think she was going to be a good mother to so many children? After six of them, she’s just so bone-tired. They must have been mad to decide to have as many pregnancies as they were blessed with. What would her life be like without the last one? There were charms and spells they could have used and maybe, just maybe by now, she’d be able to get a full night’s sleep.
Tears fill her eyes at this secret admission. How can she be thinking about the baby in this way? She loves him! She wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in China! Oh, but how she longs for just one hour to herself, one hour in the bath, alone.
Even though she’s tempted to just use her wrapper to blow her nose, she has to admit things have not quite gotten as bad as that. They can at least still afford toiletries. With a final sniff and a swipe under her arms, she takes a deep breath and places both of her palms down on the hard wooden tabletop. Bill will be bringing Ron back any minute and showing weakness in front of her boys is just not allowed.
She sees it for the first time as she turns to find the tissues. Her eyes glance up at the clock just as she has every single time she’s ever entered her kitchen. A moan escapes her lips as she squeezes her eyes closed. She clutches the back of the chair, feeling her legs grow weak beneath her. She opens them again in disbelief, not wanting to believe what she's seeing. Blackness approaches from the sides of her vision and she doesn’t even notice Percy as he runs from the room. She sinks down into her chair and places her head between her knees.
Breathe, Molly, she thinks. Do not black out. Don’t you dare black out.
The clock has to be wrong. It has to be! There is no way! Arthur swore he was careful! She was still breastfeeding Ron for Merlin’s sake!
But, but, the small voice in Molly’s head whispers, the clock is never wrong. What am I going to do? I can’t do this again! How can I? Another? What? No, no. no. No. There are things i can do– No! I’ll have to do this. We’ll have to do this! What will Arthur say? How could he have done this to me? Again? He promised! Oh, Merlin.
When Bill returns to the kitchen with his squirming, crying baby brother, he finds her with her head down on her arms, crying loudly with great honking sobs.
Molly sits up and smiles weakly as she tries to wipe the tears from her face. “Oh, hullo, Bill." She's still sobbing. "Be a good lad and floo your father home, would you?” She takes the baby from Bill’s arms and begins to feed him as Bill runs from the room. A very short while later, the sound of a loud crack reverberates throughout the Burrow.
“Molly! Molly, I’m home, what is it?” Arthur hurries into the kitchen to find his still crying wife feeding his infant son with one hand and pointing to the clock with the other. He turns and feels all the blood drain from his face. "Oh no."
Hands come and go on this ancient clock, as it has for generations and generations of Weasleys.
Every golden hand currently resting on the clock face represents a member of the family for whom the clock belongs.
Much to the shock and dismay of the adults in the house of Weasley, on a cold and rainy day in late October of the year 1980, a new hand has been added to the eight currently positioned on the word “home’.
This new hand, contrary to the others, is pointing to at the newly added words, ‘in utero’.
I'd love to have some one look this over and possibly beta it for me, but if not, con crit is very much welcome.