Molly, since she was young had always wanted a large family. She was the youngest of six, with two older sisters as well as three older brothers, and even her own old father had three sisters and a brother. The Prewetts were known for having large families.
Yet by the time her own children were growing up there were not many Prewetts’ left. Her Aunts, Muriel, Teresa and Lavender, never married and her Uncle Ignatius had no children from his own marriage.
Yet the true blow to the Prewett Clan was during that terrible war when Molly, to her great heartache, lost all of her siblings, wild Bryony, responsible Iris, intelligent Gawain, and the pranksters Gideon and Fabien who always made her laugh. The twin deaths had been the most crushing blow, being the closest in age and who she had adored and followed as a child.
One duty that was now left to Molly was to pass on the Prewett family secrets, every old family had them. Nothing that valuable, just certain recipes and spells that were unique to a certain family, in the Prewett family they were mostly related to cooking. Recipes that she used to feed her own large family like her relatives before her.
Her and Arthur had met while she was still in her fifth year at Hogwarts and married the moment they graduated. Molly once had dreams of becoming an Auror and had even gone for the training while Arthur worked himself up in the ministry with a minor office job.
Then she had become pregnant, while feeling a twinge of disappointment, for one of them had to give up their job for the upcoming child, she had taken to motherhood with a shine. She had always dreamed of having children and she had no regrets starting her own family a bit earlier than planned.
As she delivered more children (and lost just as many siblings) she thought of who she would pass the Prewett secrets down to. Traditionally given to the females of the family, although not exclusive, and for a while it seemed that Molly would only have sons until Ginny came along.
Yet even with the birth of her daughter she attempted to teach her sons first, but none of them had any interest, wanting to play outside or be high on their brooms in the sky. Molly did not let it phase her at first, they were young, let children be children, surely she had years to pass on the spells.
It was ironic really but Ginny had the most venomous reactions to being asked if she wanted to learn to cook. Being in a house with six older brothers meant she often felt she needed to prove herself, and often turned her back on ‘girly’ things to try to keep up with the boys, even if she did show a tentative interest.
It stung Molly a little, she herself enjoyed more ‘girly’ pursuits as a child, enjoying cooking and crafting, especially making her own clothes out of second hand material, but she had still wanted to be an Auror once, had still been talented in duelling and near the top of her DADA class. Still she did not say anything to her children, trying to be supportive when she could, even if she did not always understand.
Yet they still did not show interest even as they grew and started to attend Hogwarts, Molly despaired but started to resolve herself that even with seven children, she may have to one day pass them on to a daughter-in-law, at least then they will hopefully carry on through any grandchildren she may in the future be gifted with.
So she continued to watch her children grow, it was frequently noisy in the Weasley household but that was how she liked it. As her sons slowly started to age and leave the Burrow it was difficult, she did not know what she would do with herself one day when their humble house would contain only her and Arthur and be so very quiet after a lifetime of noise.
The years stretched on, one by one her children left to board that red steam train to their future, and in the case of her eldest sons actually left the burrow to build their own homes and lives.
It was her youngest son, Ron, who would bring home a boy she would view as her seventh son. A thin, quiet boy, with baggy clothes and guarded but hopeful green eyes. Molly never really interacted with the Potters’ or knew them, but whenever her eyes landed on that small boy, an urge to protect and nurture would fill her.
It frustrated her at times as she knew the Potters had been popular with many acquaintances if not friends, and yet their son grew up in isolation without knowing the couple who had loved him and died for him.
She did what she could for him, but often felt it was not enough. She fed him, made sure he knew he was always welcomed at the burrow, having another child was always a strain on the already meagre budget but she never took any offered help, young boys should not have to feel that they needed to pay their way to receive kindness.
At the same time however she did keep a bit of distance, while at times Harry enjoyed the attention other times he seemed almost embarrassed. Molly wondered whether she had the right to fill the role of mother to a boy who so obviously lived under the shadow of his parents, any scrap of information or stories about them being as valuable as gold.
The next few years were intertwined with the life of Harry Potter and his adventures, especially her youngest son who would follow Harry into the centre of danger, and made Molly fear so much, memories of her old family flashing through her mind.
Her next son to leave her would be her darling smart Percy, who unlike Bill and Charlie did not just leave to make his own way in the world, but also walked out of their family, choosing his job over loved ones.
It would be years later that Molly would meet Audrey Martin a muggle girl that Percy fell utterly in love with and feared for her safety if the rumours were true. Whether he was right or not Percy was only protecting the woman he loved the only way he knew how, his intelligence. If there ever was trouble in the ministry he would be the first to know, and the first to get Audrey far away to safety. Selfish and selfless at the same time.
The worst year of Molly’s life was when Ron went on the run with Harry and Hermione, the year Ginny was stuck at Hogwarts, a school Molly knew was no longer safe, when her twins were baiting an attack through their acts of rebellion, with Bill and Charlie being members of the order, being sent out for missions that they may not always return home from, and even her darling Percy who was in the centre of a nest of vipers.
It that terrible last year Molly constantly felt she had no control, fearing everyday as she watched the pictures of her children on the Weasley clock constantly flicker to Mortal Peril, that one day the hand of the clock with fall of, a sign that the clock could no longer read them for the were truly gone.
She also thought constantly of her other son out there, whose image she never had a chance to add to the Weasley clock, and resolved to do so the moment they all returned safely home. For they would return home, they must return home.
Memories of her old family would flicker in her mind as she thought of her family out there in danger and she was powerless to stop it. Even if she tried not to show it to anyone, many tears were spent that year.
During that final battle her worst fear was realises as she lost a child, precious Fred. When she saw Bellatrix Lestrange killing curse miss her daughter by inches she felt such hate she never considered possible, that only increased when the vile woman mocked her for her loss, cruelly calling her son ‘Freddie’
Threatening her child would be the last mistake Bellatrix Black Lestrange ever made
And then suddenly it was all over.
After Voldemort’s final defeat no one seemed to know what to do with themselves, everyone seemed to be in a trance, Fred’s death a sharp reminder of what the war had cost them. So Molly did the only thing she knew, she gathered all her family up to the Burrow.
George wouldn’t even consider sleeping in his and Fred’s shared room, instead surprisingly curling up with Percy in his. The twin’s room was left untouched even with a full house, Bill and Fleur shared his old room, Charlie stayed with his sister that night and the trio all piled into Ron’s room. The rooms were not assigned, her children just naturally gravitated together, knowing they would need comfort tonight when the shock faded and the tears started. Molly and Arthur clutched each other tight that night, glad they were alive and together, yet cruelly aware of their loss.
Molly got hardly any rest, tossing and turning in bed, and in the early morning just before dawn she gave up any pretence of getting rest and instead made her way to the kitchen. Determined to make a large hearty breakfast for her family, even if it would not be eaten. She needed to let her loved ones know they were cared for
Yet as she silently made her way downstairs, easily avoiding the step that creaks, she heard muffled noises from the kitchen. Startled, as she didn’t hear anyone make a racket on their stairs, as her children are want to do, she made her way into the kitchen.
There she found Harry cooking up a storm, concentrating on his task, seemingly ignorant of the dried tear tracks on his cheeks.
Careful not to startle him to much Molly called softly “Harry?”
He whipped round in surprise, large watery green eyes landing on her. He was in a pair of Ron’s Chudley Cannons pyjamas. They were to baggy on him and orange did not suit him at all, but it brought a soft smile to her face how even in his grief he looked so comfortable in the Weasley Kitchen
“Are you okay dear” she asked gently
Harry nodded rapidly saying quickly “Fine” and then looked around the kitchen almost sheepishly. “I’m sorry about the mess Mrs Weasley, cooking is about the only chore I ever enjoyed and I just wanted to do something you know?”
It surprised Molly that Harry knew how to cook, or at least enjoyed it, but then whenever he stayed at the Burrow she had taken care of him, like she would any of her children, and he had never been expected to cook meals.
As Molly looked at that young man stand in her kitchen, so obviously in pain, so young and already seen enough for a lifetime. She was filled with fierce affection suddenly, she may not be his mother, but Harry Potter even without his red hair had become her seventh son
She made her way over to the book shelf and took off an old delicate and beaten up book, although obviously well cared for, the Prewett Recipes, held almost lovingly in her aged hands as she carried it over to her son
“It’s no problem Harry, here let me show you a recipe my Aunt Tess taught me” opening the book for Harry to see, with its handwritten recipes and amateurish drawing, obviously added with care, which Harry peered at with interest
It looked like Molly had finally found a child willing to learn what she could teach