Characters: Angelina, George, Freddie, Rox, Minerva, implied OCs
Warning (highlight to view): For implied violence, mention of a non-Weasley murder, and not having secured a beta reader.
Word Count: 2093
Summary: Angelina's always been someone who took action, but as a parent, she learns that some actions aren't hers to take no matter how much she wants to.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: I found an old prompt and set the timer to 20 minutes, but I took closer to an hour. I'm not sure why Angelina as a mum, bad boyfriend, and marks led to this fic, but lead to it, the prompt did—and I'm going to spoil you and note that there's hope here. I also think it's a nice, if brief, look at Angelina and George's parenting of a difficult situation. As well, I'm very glad that I'm not a mom because I remember the circumstances that led "Anonymous" to prompt me, and they sucked ass. Kudos to every parent on my flist!
Angelina was so angry that she thought she might vomit. The mark on Freddie's neck looked as though it had been scalded into place.
Someone had throttled her son, and he was trying to hide it.
"Freddie," she began.
"Fuck!" Freddie struggled into his jumper, the neck of which hid his injury.
"Don't ask me, Mum. I'm not gonna say."
"Someone put hands on you. Someone left a mark on you. I am not going to ignore that. Your father certainly—"
"No! No, Mum, please! Don't tell—"
"Tell me who put his hands on—"
"Who said it was a bo—"
"—you right bloody now!"
Freddie crossed his arms and turned away, and refused to look into her face when Angelina approached him.
"You can trust me with this," she told him.
"It was my fault. I made him mad."
The anger within her threatened to explode in a scream, but Angelina repressed it. "Look at me, Freddie."
"It is not your fault that someone mistreated you. No matter what happened, it is never your fault when someone phys—physically harms you. No one has the right to touch you against your will. Do you understand? No one. No matter what."
"He wanted me to stay. He, he was, he was upset about home, but I had to get to class and—"
"Who was upset?" interrupted Angelina.
"Freddie, if you won't tell me, I'll go to the school. I'll ask the house elves."
"Can you do that?" Freddie's eyes were wide.
"I'm your mother. I can do anything."
"This cannot be allowed to continue," Angelina told the Headmistress. "I don't care what the boy's home life is like."
Minerva McGonagall frowned. "This is dreadful. I had no idea. Whitby's a Hufflepuff, for Merlin's sake!"
Angelina gaped at her. "That's your takeaway from this? That a 'Puff is above such things? Edmund Whitby hurt my son and threatened worse. Does that not matter to you because they're boys?"
"It's a perfectly dreadful situation no matter who's involved," McGonagall replied, "and you'll forgive me if I'm shocked by it. I've never . . . this is new to me."
Angelina found herself doubtful of that, but she didn't comment upon it. "I want Whitby expelled. He's a danger to Freddie."
"He needs help," Minerva told her.
"I don't care. He's not my responsibility, and I won't have him abusing my son at school."
George met Angelina at the door and opened his arms. "I heard. You've 'destroyed' Fred's life and 'ruined' Ed's life."
"I don't know what to do, George, but I couldn't let that little shit continue to hurt our Freddie."
"Like it or not, that . . . kid is just a kid, and in trouble, himself," George murmured, holding Angelina tight. "His situation is disturbing."
She broke away. "And our son should pay for that?"
"Fuck no, but is it right to ignore his cry for help? Especially when we could advocate for him to be removed from his abusive home? Fred's not going to understand our getting Ed expelled without doing anything to help him."
"Well, hell yes, 'our'." George ran a hand through his hair. "I agree with you that he can't be at school if he's violent, but I think we ought to take Fred's opinions seriously here. Ed's his first, that's pretty serious, and we are the adults. We know Ed's in trouble. We should help him."
"Freddie's also in trouble, and I don't understand why he'd let his boyfriend hurt him!"
George reddened a bit. "I don't, either."
Angelina bit her lip, harder than she'd intended. "Fuck! Sorry—sorry that you had to have that conversation without me, that is."
"Well, at least he talked to me. That's nice."
"George," Angelina said, her eyes burning. "What are we going to do?"
"Fuck if I know, gorgeous. I'm lost. I, er, I think I need Mum's advice."
Angelina nodded at that.
"You're not bad parents. It's hard to be young and in love and not know what to do. It's hard to want to protect someone who hurts you because you know they're hurting too."
"Mum, you and Dad—"
"Bite your tongue, George. Your father never lifted a hand to me."
"Molly," Angelina interjected, "what can we do? He didn't learn meekness from us. I still can't believe he let Ed lay hands on him, no matter what."
"I think that you've made a good start. You've explained to Freddie that love doesn't mean allowing oneself to be abused, and you've told him that it isn't his job, no matter how he feels, to help Eddie in the way he needs help. You've taken steps to have Minerva remove the young man from his bad situation, and now you've only to support Freddie while he adjusts to losing his boyfriend for a while. That's going to be hard for him, and he will be angry with you until, well, he's not."
"I don't know if I can bear that," said Angelina.
"Oh, and the Muggles have them, the psychiatrists and whatnot. I imagine young Eddie will see a therapist. Perhaps," continued Molly, "Freddie should see someone, as well. Someone neutral, someone more on his wavelength?"
"You want us to find a queer therapist for Fred?" asked George.
"Yes, dear. I think that's an excellent idea," Molly replied. "The Healers I saw after the battle, well, they were wand waving and disapproving. A Muggle therapist would be much better for Freddie, I imagine."
George stood up. "I am . . . not entirely comfortable with that, but . . . all right. If Fred agrees . . . ."
Angelina sighed. "If Freddie agrees, yes."
"I'm not going to some brainwashing cow who'll try to turn me against Eddie! I won't do it! I hate you! You . . . you've ruined everything!"
"Fifteen is young. Fifteen is . . . ."
"It's all right, George," Angelina said. "We don't have to solve everything at once. He can't see it, but Eddie's safe now, and . . . and I suppose it will just take time before Freddie understands. But I'm scared. I don't understand how our son could have let himself be hurt like that, no matter the reason."
George grunted and wrapped her in his arms.
"So, can I? It's only a letter. I know he's lonely. Can I write back?"
Angelina wanted to say no, but she didn't. "No sex talk."
"I mean it. No sex talk. Friendly things only."
Freddie stormed off, leaving Angelina feeling ridiculous and old.
"—just a little, 'sex talk', I mean," she heard Freddie saying to George later that evening.
"Merlin, Fred. Be decent!"
Angelina snickered at George's response. I suppose that's a good sign, she thought, of Freddie's joke. I hope it is.
"What do you mean, he broke up with you?"
"He says it's for my own good. He says he doesn't want to hurt me."
"Did he say he was sorry?" asked Angelina. "Did he, Freddie?"
"Of course he's sorry, Mum."
"No he's not. He's a piece of goblin shi—"
"Rox, not helpful," asserted George.
"Yeah," said Freddie. "Leave me alone!"
"If I'd known that the creep touched you, I'd've crammed my wand up his—"
"Roxanne Weasley!" thundered Angelina, and then, with George, insisted, "that is enough!"
"Weak, parents. Weak response. He hurt Freddie!"
"Go apologize to your brother," ordered Angelina, "and then join me out back. We'll run some drills."
"I'll run some—"
"No, George. You go spend time with Freddie. He needs you."
"—not that I don't disagree, Rox, but that wouldn't have helped Freddie, not really."
"Right. Violence isn't the answer—except that it totally could be, Mum!"
"And that's why Freddie had handprints on his throat."
"Great. Now I feel awful. Why didn't he say anything?"
"Would you have?" Angelina asked.
"Well, sure, as soon as the Aurors let you see my murderous arse."
"You and your brother are different people, sweetie, try to remember that."
What she did not say was that she was incredibly proud of Roxanne's attitude.
They're different, she thought. That doesn't make him weak.
"Will Freddie be all right, Mum?"
"I . . . don't know, but I hope so, baby."
"—you know it doesn't," Angelina heard George say. "Why would you ask that? I don't mind that you're gay!"
"'Mind', that's an interesting word."
"And it was 'Freddie' until I told you. That's how I know you do mind!"
Freddie brushed Angelina's arm as he left the kitchen. "Sorry, Mum."
"Well, that was interesting."
"That was the fucking therapist's doing," replied George.
"Perhaps it was. Is that a bad thing?"
Scowling, George replied, "I don't . . . I don't know. I miss happiness."
"What a stupid thing to say."
"George, you're the one who wanted to 'help' everyone. I wanted to kill Whitby and be done with it."
"No, and it scares me to think that little shit might weasel his way back into Freddie's life—or that Freddie might . . . he might—"
"Let someone else put hands on him?"
"Yes," Angelina agreed. "No one said parenting would be like this."
"Now who sounds sorry for herself?" asked George, drawing Angelina down on the sofa with him.
"I am, yes," George said.
"Are we doing the right thing?" Angelina asked. "Are we good parents?"
Less firmly, George answered her. "Y—es, yes, we are. I'm sure we are."
From just outside of the room, they heard Roxanne say, "You do all right." And then the door slammed as she went out.
"I want to go back to school this fall. I hate being away from my friends," Freddie told them. "And it's not like Eddie's going to be there, is it?"
Angelina cocked her head. "And do you think that that's our fault?"
Freddie looked away. "No, s'pose not, Mum."
"What does Dr. Muggle—"
"—er, Dr. Moore have to say about your returning to school?"
"Well, Dad," Freddie said, in an exaggerated tone, "he thinks it would be a super idea."
"I could do without the sarcasm," George said, before suddenly groaning and dropping to the floor. "Oh, Merlin's Nasty Little Toe! It's happening! I'm . . . I'm becoming Mum!"
Angelina laughed. Roxanne rolled her eyes.
"Freddie!" called George, from the floor. "Save me! Don't let me be Mum!"
"And just what do you mean by that?" demaned Arthur, stepping through the Floo.
"By what?" asked Molly, following him.
Angelina breathed a sigh of relief. That's better, she thought.
Except that it wasn't, not entirely, not for everyone—Eddie Whitby's family support, which had never been strong, broke completely just before the Hogwarts Express was due to return students to the school. Eddie didn't return to Hogwarts. Eddie never did anything again.
"I don't understand. I thought he was getting better."
"Freddie, I think perhaps he was, but . . . his father wasn't."
"What Dad means is that, and I'm so sorry baby," Angelina said, "Eddie's father hit him and—"
Roxanne made an impatient noise and rushed into the room to hug Freddie. "He's dead. His dad murdered him. He's dead, Freddie. I'm so sorry."
Freddie insisted on returning to Hogwarts in spite of the fact that every Weasley in the world had offered him an alternative. Roxanne had called him stupid for turning down so many "plush sitch's," and there'd been normal fighting; it had almost felt comforting to Angelina. Almost.
"I miss my boy."
"Those dishes don't care," George told her, taking a plate out of her hands. "I miss him, too. I wish he'd come to the shop with me."
"Rox wishes he'd gone to the dragon preserve so that she could have visited him."
"Yeah, I don't think she needs to be around those blokes."
"Definitely not, agreed."
George cleared his throat. "McGonagall says he's doing well, is our Freddie, comforting Hufflepuffs and studying hard."
"Good," Angelina said, not really feeling in charity with the Headmistress, no matter that it was, perhaps, not quite fair.
"Is he, er, dating?"
"No," George replied quickly. "No, he isn't."
"You really don't like that he's gay." Angelina stared at George.
"Look, it's not something I think is wrong, I just don't quite know how to be about it, that's all."
Angelina pecked George on the nose. "You're 'being' all right, I think. Freddie seems happier since you relearned his name, at any rate. That's something."
"Yes, but is it enough?"
Angelina snorted. "Well, we'll find that out when he remembers to write to us, won't we?"
"Yeah, I s'pose so."
"Oh, and George?"
"Perhaps we should wait for news of Freddie from his owls rather than talking to the Headmistress. Let's not interfere with his privacy in that way."
"Besides, there's always Roxanne," Angelina interrupted.
"Ha! Well, yeah. That's true."
"Now go on to work and think of tonight," Angelina instructed.
"What's tonight?" asked George.
Angelina smiled. "A night without kids in the house."
George laughed and took himself off, and Angelina breathed a sigh of relief. She'd had Rox's latest letter, and Freddie was dating.
But he's not ready for us to know about it.
So far, everything was "fanfuckingtastic," according to Rox, who'd promised that Angelina would be the first person to know if that changed—especially if the boyfriend "went bad."
And if he does, thought Angelina with not a little firmness, this time I'm just going to hex his bollocks off.
She didn't mean it, of course—Rox had already pledged, with a great deal of imaginative expression, to deal with such an eventuality—but it felt good to think.
"Top marks to me for not hexing anyone at all!"