Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 156

Step aside, Voldemort. Molly Weasley’s got some business of her own with Harry and company.

We as readers are positioned to support Harry in most of his feelings and choices. In this instance, via Harry, we are initially pitted against Mrs. Weasley. But as the chapter continues, Harry begins to see the moral grayness in Molly’s attempts to glean information from him and keep him separated from Ron and Hermione. As we discussed, while Molly is holding up her responsibility as a mother, she cannot possibly be as ignorant as she appears about Harry and Voldemort’s conflict. Yet this is not the first time in the series Molly has been overbearing toward the trio. What were your initial feelings toward Molly in this chapter? Is her behavior completely justifiable, or only to a point?

Let us know what you think in the comments below or by sending us an Audioboom!

  • DoraNympha

    It is annoying but I think she’s completely justifiable. I don’t think she went about it the right way but what else can she do? And at the end of this chapter, that little moment Michael so beautifully read out on the show, I interpreted it as her kind of having a moment of remorse/regret that she’s been so obstructive and strict on Harry because his birthday’s coming up and his parents are not here and so she probably allows herself to really feel and understand that Harry has to go and try defeat Voldemort – a thought she otherwise probably voluntarily ignores. She gives Harry a family heirloom of sorts in the form of Fabian’s watch the next chapter, so maybe this moment also contributed to that? That she’s reminded that Harry is an orphan and so she’ll try to rectify her recent endless pestering with the gift a bit? Molly Weasley usually doesn’t go down without a fight, doesn’t back down from what she wants people to do or not do, but this time she does realize she was probably a bit wrong about the way she’s tried to stand in Harry’s way.

  • WizardorWhat

    I think that Mollie is completely correct in her approach. The thing to remember is that she believes that the idea of Dumbledore entrusting the three 17 year olds with a vitally important mission is inherently implausible. And she has a point; Dumbledore hasn’t told anyone about the Horcruxes, so she won’t have known of any sensible reason for giving the trio the task of basically assassinating the most powerful wizard in the world. Of course she doesn’t know that Harry’s planning to kill Voldy, but she could probably have guessed.

    Instead, I suspect that she sees three teenagers, one of whom has been completely traumatised by the events of the last 17 years, high on hormones, a desire for revenge, and possibly visions of grandeur, egging each other on and setting out to do something very rash. As she says, if they think that Dumbledore gave them a mission, the chances are that they have woefully misunderstood him. Of course she’s going to try and stop it, and part of doing that is stopping them from meeting to plan things out.

  • TickleThePear

    I think Molly is justified here. To answer this question, you have to forget everything Dumbledore has told Harry, because he most certainly hasn’t told Molly. Molly is a mother, first and foremost, and she is being told her son and his two best friends (who’ve been treated like her children as well) have been assigned a mission from Dumbledore. A mission no one else is allowed to know about. Keep in mind, it wasn’t that long ago that Dumbledore instructed the Order to only tell Harry what he “needs to know” (remember the scene in OOTP where they discuss the “weapon”), and now she’s supposed to believe he’s been entrusted with information no one else can have?

    This is a 180 from what Dumbledore has told the Order in the past, of course Molly has trouble believing Harry. When Harry tells her “it’s got to be me,” I can imagine Molly flashing back to all the moments Harry felt that it “had to be him”: going down the trap door, saving Ginny, going after Sirius…in all those instances Harry took a mission upon himself and Molly sees the same thing now.

    She attempts to stop it the only way she can, by delaying the trio getting together to plan their departure.

    Justified, 100%.

    • NeverTickleASleepingRavenclaw

      It is a 180 from what Dumbledore said in Order, and I’m not saying that Molly’s not justified–I need to ponder on that for a while more–but we can’t forget that between Order of the Pheonix and Deathly Hallows, we had Half Blood Prince, which was pretty much an entire year of Dumbledore filling Harry in on the “need to know” things that he never told him before. Molly may or may not be completely aware of what went on during HBP, but she should realize that Harry has matured greatly during the events of the past year and he does indeed have a mission to carry out.
      As a mother, I have to say she’s justified. As a Ravenclaw, I see flaws in her logic.

      • TickleThePear

        I’m not sure Molly, or any of the Order, knows what Harry and Dumbledore are up to in HBP.

        Based on the exchange between Lupin and Kingsley, Dumbledore has only told them to trust Harry, not that he’s on a mission or anything. And if Molly never even got the “trust Harry” conversation from Dumbledore, it’d be even harder for her to accept.

        How much can we assume Molly should know about what Dumbledore has told Harry in the last year? That’s the question.

  • My initial feels were of dislike. As amazing as it is to be in Grimmauld Place in book 5, Molly had everybody cleaning the place hardcore and it wasn’t every pleasant. To have this crazy cleaning resurface in the wake of a great adventure is even worse. Sure the work needs to be done, but Molly is intentionally overworking the trio to keep them away from eachother. She very well knows what Harry is mixed up in and certainly she doesn’t want to see harm come to Harry, but she herself is doing more harm than help in keeping them all so busy.

  • MrsSlrKls

    As a mother, I get it. I totally get it. They are kids. She mighta been a little over the top on how she tried to ‘weasel’ info out of them but she’s just concerned. Besides she’s in the Order, if she had gotten good info, there are things she could have mentioned to other Order members to help pave the way behind the scenes.

  • Tiffany Houser

    Eric, Eric, Eric, I adore you and I remember feeling the way you do towards the intrusive actions of adults when I was younger. I am now am Mother and allowing your children to leave the (perceived) safety of your home is very much like opening up your chest, taking your heart out, and then watching it walk out the door. You then have to squash a really weird just under the surface anxiety until they are in your sight again. It’s truly exhausting if you give yourself time to ponder it. Molly had to try, it’s what we Mother’s do. JKR as a mother herself wouldn’t have been true to Molly’s character and soul if she hadn’t let her try……trying is how we parents are able to face our reflections in the mirror while acknowledging the things in this world that we can’t protect our children from.

  • WitchWolfsbane10

    The first time I read this back in 2007, as an 18 year old myself, I was frustrated with Molly as well. I understood her motherly duty, but it was maddening how deliberate her attempt was to keep them from one another because we knew what they were going off to do, and we knew how important it was that they be able to discuss and plan with one another.

    But I have a completely different outlook now. In the time that we have known her, Molly Weasley has had to endure her only daughter being possessed by Voldemort. The love of her life, husband to her children was almost killed by Voldemort’s snake. Her eldest son was mauled beyond recognition by the most dangerous, blood-thirsty, evil werewolf of the age. George just had his ear cursed off by the same man who killed Albus Dumbledore. Percy, essentially, abandoned and disowned her and the rest of her family, and works within a government that has been infiltrated, and there’s a possibility he has been motivated to work against the very Order to which she belongs. And think of all of the things Ron has been through, and she has had to hear about over the last few years, including being poisoned mere months before. Hell, a few days ago, the majority of her family played actual decoys to help get Harry to the Burrow.

    And we know how she feels about Harry. He’s an orphan, and she took him in as a son. The very first Christmas we see, she sends this boy a Weasley sweater and homemade treats even though she only said a few words to him at the station. He’s come into her home, into the lives of her family, and she’s had to watch what Voldemort has done to this poor kid before he was even of age. He gives him her own dead brother’s watch for his seventeenth birthday. Harry, for all intents and purposes, is her son too.

    I didn’t forget that boggart from OotP:

    “‘I see them d-d-dead all the time!’ Mrs. Weasley moaned…’I’m just s-s-so worried…’
    …’Half the f-f-family’s in the Order, it’ll b-b-be a miracle if we all come through this…and P-P-Percy’s not talking to us…What if something d-d-dreadful happens and we had never m-m-made up? And what’s going to happen if Arthur and I get killed, who’s g-g-going to look after Ron and Ginny?’
    …’Being silly,’ she muttered again, mopping her eyes.
    But Harry, closing his bedroom door behind him some ten minutes later, could not think Mrs. Weasley silly. He could still see his parents beaming up at him from the tattered old photograph, unaware that their lives, like so many of those around them, were drawing to a close. The image of the boggart posing as the corpse of each member of Mrs. Weasley’s family in turn kept flashing before his eyes.”

    Molly might not know exactly what they’re going out to do, but I don’t insult her intelligence by thinking she doesn’t know it has something to do with Voldemort and destroying him. She has no idea where they’re going, if they’ll be able to keep in touch. Harry is Voldemort’s #1 priority, and we saw what her and her family went through to make sure Harry got to the Burrow safely. They don’t plan on bringing an adult witch or wizard with them to help them, and she’s supposed to just trust blindly that it’s for the best? She’s just supposed to accept, without any explanation, a plan concocted by a man who trusted the man who ended up murdering him a couple months ago? This is the woman who ends up killing Bellatrix Lestrange in order to protect her flesh and blood. This woman is Gryffindor through and through, and she’s done her part to help fight this war. But in the end, if it comes down to it, she’s going to fight most to protect her family like any mother would. So if she has to give the three seventeen year olds a few extra chores to possibly delay the inevitable, she’s going to do it.

    • PuffNProud

      Agree that Molly knew what they were up to – and if she didn’t before they moved Harry from Privet Drive, she had to know when Kingsley and Lupin shared Dumbledore’s last words to the two of them – “Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him” in the previous chapter. All of the adults (ex Percy, still on walkabout) are in the Order, Ron who could be in the Order is going with Harry, and Ginny will be forced to go to Hogwarts (although Molly doesn’t know the compulsory status for purebloods yet). I don’t think her actions are morally gray – she is just trying to protect her family, including Harry and Hermione. Perhaps she is of the same thought as Aberforth, who thinks they may have more of a chance at life if they run away rather then try to stay and fight to destroy Voldemort. Once your child, always your child, no matter how old they get.

  • DoraNympha

    I just wanted to add to the excellent comments that Molly’s already got a son she doesn’t know is safe day to day: Percy. She must worry about him already, I think Molly shows signs of wanting everything to be perfect by making the house perfectly impeccable just to counterbalance not having control over her children anymore, which goes beyond the usual flying-out-of-the-nest sads because they’re in danger and all. Arthur does see him occasionally at work BUT (whoever knows when during the year? but sometime between September and late March) once they all stop working, no one has any contact with Percy, they don’t know if he’s okay, especially in light of the Malfoy Manor incident. Kingsley, Tonks, literally no one is left to stay at the Ministry from the Order by that time, they just haven’t heard anything about Percy for some time before the Battle of Hogwarts. (Probably reason for that character development with Fred and George, the reality of not knowing about Ron or Percy or even Ginny while she was at school sinks in by that time so they were of course very quick and eager to reconcile with Percy.) Molly was kind of already really horrified by the U-No-Poo just out there in the window display in Diagon Alley, the most visited wizarding location, so Arthur and Percy working at the Ministry is also kind of like they walk into the lion’s den every morning, and so the idea of Ron going off with Harry Potter, no.1 enemy of Voldemort alive, is just bonkers. Bill and Lupin asked the trio flat out what they were up to but Molly’s Molly so she’s going to corner Harry with socks and do the mum talk pretending everything’s fine and under control when, clearly, it isn’t.

  • CentaurSeeker121

    You have to remember Molly’s brothers, Gideon and Fabion, were both in the original Order of the Phoenix and they were both killed while fighting the Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. Now hear she is all over again, facing a conflict with Voldemort and his Death Eaters where she is very much aware that people will die and some of those people could very possible be her husband and/or her children. She is more than aware of what Voldemort and his people are capable of and now her youngest son and his two best friends are planning on going onto this seemingly hare-brained quest to take on the most dangerous man in the world and she may never see any of them again.

    So yes, I think that while Molly’s behavior was annoying, she was completely justifiable in her actions.

  • Melissa McCarthy Steinberg

    I have lots of feels about Molly. I started reading these books at age 25, and was married but no kids, and I remember being very frustrated with her. Now at age 40, and the mother of 2 young boys, I have more sympathy and empathy for her. I don’t think I would make some of the choices that she makes – I have a different kind of relationship with my children – but I can completely understand why she behaves the way she does.

    I think she realizes that she is overprotective, but cannot help herself. She does what she does out of love for these children (Yes, they are children. Your children are always your children. I am still my mother’s baby. Ask any parent.), and I think that is what Harry picks up on and why he feels guilty. But, yes. It is obstructionist. She doesn’t see the big picture, naturally, because the trio don’t tell anyone the big picture. She just sees them in danger and her lion’s heart wants to protect them. Totally understandable. Totally within the confines of her character, i.e. “Mollycoddle:” treat (someone) very indulgently or protectively. Totally frustrating for the trio. All true. All important to the plot.

    I can’t imagine her behaving any other way. It would be out of character for her to leave them to their plans. Just as it would be out of character for the trio not to be frustrated by her behavior. That’s why it all rings so true. It’s an overprotective mother and a trio of teenagers. Very recognizable situation on all sides, except that some teenagers would be much less compliant to their mothers. (Certainly not me, or my boys! ;))

    • suprememugwump

      I think you deserve an honorary OGM award for that statement about Molly mollycoddling. Mind blown!

  • SnugglesWithNifflers

    I think that Molly’s actions in this chapter are completely understandable. From her point of view, why couldn’t Harry’s mission be undertaken jointly by the Order? How would Deathly Hallows have gone differently if Harry would have let the Order in on the Horcruxes? The only reason I really see for not telling anyone is on the off chance that the Horcrux hunt got back to Voldemort. Other than that, it probably would have been more efficient to have extra manpower working on the problem.

  • Hufflepug

    I mentioned this behavior in a comment a few weeks ago so it’s nice to be able to talk about it again in more depth. Of course she’s being annoying, but I think what makes her behavior justifiable is that everyone knows very well that Molly is not going to be able to stop the trio from going on this mission. Even Molly knows that deep down, I think, but is in denial so she’s trying to delay it as much as possible. We know how protective she is of her family, which I think is a result of her maternal instinct as well as the trauma she must have faced when she lost her brothers in the first war. I think it’s only right to feel overprotective after something like that. In addition, she must feel like it’s unfair that such young people have to go on this dangerous mission and she, someone who is far more experienced and has been in the Order for years, has no idea what’s going on. I’m not sure if she would feel more jealous or more morally against it – maybe a little bit of both.

  • Ravenclawesome

    Molly’s innate mother-ness prevents her from seeing Harry’s situation with Voldemort clearly. She really should be able to understand that there are some things that only Harry can do, given all her work with the Order, but her protective nature overrides her ability to see the good that will come from the Trio’s mysterious and probably dangerous situation. I think she was completely out of line by persistently ambushing them for information about their plans. That shows not only a mistrust of her son and his two best friends (who are young, but all of whom are of age), but also a mistrust of Dumbledore. She should know all of these people well enough to understand that Dumbledore’s plan is carefully planned although potentially dangerous, that Harry will do anything he can to carry out that plan, and that Ron and Hermione will loyally accompany him through all of it, even if that involves keeping it all a secret. Her annoying attempts to keep the trio apart is her desperate move to try and keep their mission from happening.

    Knowing how protective Molly is explains most of her actions, though. In book 5 she didn’t want any of her children to be in the Order, however they all wanted to get involved. Since then, Bill has been attacked by a werewolf Death Eater and George has lost an ear to dark magic. She may be wondering whether, if she had tried even harder to keep them away from the war against Voldemort, either of these could have been prevented. And because of this, she probably feels an even greater responsibility to prevent any more harm from coming to her children in the future. She probably also feels a great amount of responsibility to protect Harry and Hermione, not only because she treats them as her own children, but also because of each of their family situations: Hermione’s family are all Muggles, so they know far less about what she’s up to. And Harry’s only living family clearly don’t care for his well-being. I really do think that Molly’s intentions are good, but she’s going about it in completely the wrong way.

  • SpinnersEnd

    My gut reaction to Molly in this chapter was: “Geeze, Mom, get off my back!”

    I think Rowling did an excellent job of portraying Molly in that overbearing mother sort of way. On my second (and third, and fourth and fifth rereads…) Molly’s reaction began to strike me as a bit petty. She knows full well that Harry has something that only he can do. Despite her arguments to the contrary, I think she does know that only Harry can kill Voldemort.
    I think she still looks at him as a child, as most mothers will always see their children. And consequently, she will needle him to give her the information she wants because she thinks that simply by knowing, she can protect him.

  • NeverTickleASleepingRavenclaw

    I love Molly Weasley. I want to know a lot more about her.

    For example, we know that Gideon and Fabian were killed in the first war, but when did Molly lose her parents? Maybe she is an overprotective mama bear because she lost her mother at an early age. This would also explain why she is so protective of Harry as well. I don’t know if we know much about Molly or Arthur’s parents, but I certainly don’t remember any mention of Weasley grandparents. It might be hard for her to accept the fact that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are of age (because 17 is of age in the Wizarding World) and that though they might not necessarily be mature enough–in her opinion–to go off on their own, they are technically old enough.

    Personally (I said this in response to another comment as well) I think that Molly is not giving Harry enough credit for the growth that he has made and the knowledge he has gained over the course of the past year. During Half Blood Prince, Harry had more going on than those hormones. He learned from Dumbledore in private lessons; he explored memories and quite literally dove into Volemort’s past. While Molly may not know the extent of what Harry learned, she should give him credit for learning and maturing somewhat, which I don’t think she’s doing here.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I agree with you, she still sees him as immature, but how could she know about his new maturity? Just from the night when he arrives at the Burrow?

      • NeverTickleASleepingRavenclaw

        I honestly am not positive. I would say that Ginny probably wrote home to her mother about their budding relationship. She may have mentioned the fact that Harry has been having private lessons with Dumbledore. We don’t know that Dumbledore didn’t tell Molly that she should trust Harry before he died.
        Harry was at The Burrow for Christmas in Half Blood Prince. He had several private conversations with Arthur–this was when they discussed Stan Shunpike being framed by the ministry. While we know that Arthur doesn’t always share everything with Molly, she should have been observant enough to realize that he was maturing.
        That being said, she is Molly, and it seems that she is rarely objectively observant of her children. Goodness knows she never gives Fred and George credit for their brilliance.

        • thequeerweasleycousin

          Dumbledore telling Molly to trust Harry would have been great! It seems so important and also a very obvious thing to do, I can’t see how he wouldn’t have told her. But I think he didn’t, and even if he did, her behaviour wouldn’t have changed much. She’s too caring as a person and worried like hell in this situation.

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    I have to agree with Eric on this one. Molly is a master manipulator. I will say that she has a right to be nosy, but it ends a point, and here is how it is.

    Molly is a mother of seven children, SEVEN! There is no way that you an be a naive mother after having seven children. She is also the mother of Fred and George. She knows what’s going on after raising those two boys. She is a seasoned-vet.

    When I think of this situation that Molly is putting them in I think of an episode from Modern Family. It’s Mother’s day and Claire’s children ruin her Mother’s day. Claire wants them to apologize because she knows that she is right, but she wants them to feel guilty and say their sorry on their own. So she goes through the rest of the said feeling said for herself and moping around her children, but she’s been faking it the whole time. You see it through out the whole episode how she manipulates the situation and is trying to make her children give into her.

    This is EXACTLY what Molly is doing. she is manipulation the situation by making the trio work separately so they can’t get together and plan on when they are going to leave. She goes to them each individually to try to guilt them into telling her what their plans are.

    I understand that Molly is the mother here and that she would do anything for her children. Don’t get me wrong, but there is a certain point in a mother’s life where she has to let go of her children. For us Muggles, it’s usually when the child goes off to College. During that time, the mother has to understand that her child is not going to be under her care 24/7. She needs to know that her child has grown up and needs to start making decisions on their own. A mother is always going to want to protect their child no matter the age, but the initial cut of the cord that bonds the mother and child together has got to be heart bracing. This is what Molly is going through. She still sees these three as her children (even though two of them aren’t), and she thought that she had a whole year left before they went off and did their one thing. But they are leaving a year earlier then she thought so she has to comes to terms with it a lot quicker then she expected. It’s going to be hard for her, but she has to come to terms with it.

    She knows that the trio is planning something against Voldemort, how could she not? If anything, after the fourth book, Molly knows that Harry and Voldemort are intertwined somehow. But she needs the details to figure out how to be able to keep the trio from leaving. So i think that she is looking for answers anyway she can and is definitely trying to manipulate the situation to go in her favor. I love Molly, but she has to back off the trio. They are of age, and it’s time for them to spread their wings and fly the coop.

    *Awaits howlers to start flying*

    • WitchWolfsbane10

      Not a Howler by any means, but I’d just like to give Molly a little more credit because these kids aren’t going off to college, leaving the nest to get their own place (like the twins), or getting married and starting a family (like Bill). They’re off to go on a secret mission from Dumbledore who was murdered by a man he inexplicably trusted to go defeat Voldemort. They’re going off to war. Like you said, there’s no way she doesn’t have some idea that it has to do with killing Voldemort; she’s not naive.

      I don’t, personally, look at her as this manipulative person the way you and Eric do, but I understand that perspective as a whole. But, to her credit, this isn’t one of those “let your kids go because it’s time to leave the nest.” This is a woman who’s watching her entire family fight a war, and her seventeen year old boy is leaving to going to the front lines without any contact. She *does* accept it. She *does* come to terms with it. And while it’s annoying that she keeps them apart because they need that time to plan, she doesn’t have the luxury of knowing what we know, and her heart is in the right place. The majority of her family just got back from being actual decoys of Harry. George lost an ear. Her influence, her protests, her worries no longer hold much weight anymore *because* they’re of age. This woman has no control over any situation, and she’s expected to just sit back and watch her family fight a war without a peep? No one sends their kids off to war with a smile on their face.

  • I agree with many of the more serious comments that as a mother, Molly is justified in trying to protect her kids (inclusive of Harry and Hermione who are almost family). But I have to admit that when first reading, I always just saw her meddling and intrusions as comical, as a bit of humor inputted into the trio’s rather serious predicament of going to chase and destroy V.’s immortality. I always giggled at Ron’s indignation and at Molly’s temper tantrums when they circumnavigate her plans. It was a funny way to address a serious subject (in typically wonderful JKR fashion).

  • I thought I sent an AudioBoom successfully last week, but I still don’t see the thing. So I’ll ask it here.–

    Harry wanted to go to Godric’s Hollow in the beginning of the journey (before they left). What if they had gone? Would the trio have met Bathilda Bagshot alive? (not sure at what point Nagini killed her, but what if anyway?) What could they have gleaned from her that couldve helped either deal with Dumbledore’s past or the horcrux search?

  • ISeeThestrals

    My initial feelings were frustration. Her actions are understandable, being
    that she’s a concerned mother, but I feel part of the reason behind her
    overbearing behavior has to do with her being in denial about what Harry
    must do. I think it’s also reasonable to assume much of her behavior stems
    from the fact that George lost an ear just trying to get back home. Molly
    knows she could have very well lost George completely so it’s understandable
    to believe she could easily picture something worse happening to Ron, Harry
    and Hermione. Molly just wants to keep the family together, and if she knows
    where the trio are going, it’s like a way of keeping them all together even if
    they’re far apart, but deep down I do feel she is trying to get the trio to come
    up with an alternate solution by perhaps asking an Order member to take on
    the task instead of them since she won’t give them a chance to plan. Though
    the trio have grown, even in experience, I believe Molly still sees them as
    young wizards who need to be protected.

  • DisKid

    This chapter takes place before the ministry had been taken over. I
    think Mrs. Weasley was indenial and trying to convince herself that
    somebody like McGonagall would be the head of Hogwarts, that the aurors
    would keep the ministry safe, and that Dumbledore would never send the
    trio on a dangerous mission. Admitting that she could be wrong would be
    admitting that she may have to prepare for something happening to her
    family. I can’t blame her for the way she acted even though it bugged me
    too. I do wonder if Arthur possibly tried to talk with her telling her that if, even if she doesn’t want to believe it, Dumbledore did give the trio a task her keeping this separate is only hurting the task and she could be endangering the wizarding world by doing so. Of course, the idea that they would only have started planning this within the week would be questioning as they have Hermione who is much more meticulous than that. So I guess she was also convincing herself the trio couldn’t possibly have been planning this much earlier as well. In-denial mother frustrating everybody! Oh don’t we all know one of those.

  • HarleyMeenen

    I’m somewhat torn on this question. We are given the viewpoint of the trio, and it is absolutely infuriating to see them repeatedly kept from so much as speaking to each other, and in this sense Molly probably did go too far. That being said- she is a mother. Of course she wants to know where her children are, what they’re doing, and whether they are (relatively) safe. We know she’s an…involved mother, no matter how old her kids are (the commentary on Bill’s fashion choices and Charlie’s “brutally short” haircut). But even a less overbearing parent would be opposed to this situation.
    I also suspect that Molly is used to having to be a bit firmer and lay down the law. Imagine raising Fred and George with the attitude that your kids only have to answer you when it’s convenient to them! Additionally, she’s already had two sons move to quite distant locations in jobs that probably aren’t the safest. I imagine it’s a lot to take to have a third, the second-youngest child, who is supposed to still be in school and under her care, announce that he’s moving out. And of course, Harry and Hermione are on the same level as her own children in her mind, so it’s essentially like losing three at once.
    Is it frustrating to have Molly do what she does? Yes. Does she behave wrongly? I don’t think so. I think the trio are quite lucky they didn’t find themselves magically confined to their rooms- that’s almost certainly what my mother would have done to me!

  • Hollywobbles

    Hollywobbles an hour ago
    The ministry had not fallen yet, and Minnie was still in charge at hogwarts , so Molly had no reason to think that hogwarts wouldnt still be safe. We see thingshappening super quickly for the sake of the story, but keep in mind that the last time Voldy was waging war he was in power for eleven years without ever taking hogwarts or the ministry. Dumbledore gets a lot of credit for that, and its well deserved, but hogwarts is still an ancient and powerful institution with or without Albus. I think its just incomprehensible to her that Hogwarts could fall to his power. I also dont see her request at totallly unreasonable, considerering that harry and co are barely legal and havent even finished school, and are refusing all maner of help on their mission to save the wizarding world. Taken out of the context of what we know, (and she doesnt) it sounds a lot like teenage arrogance and Harrys hero complex.

  • ISeeThestrals

    Perhaps a better chapter title would be “Oh golly Ms. Molly”.

  • suprememugwump

    I initially saw Mrs. Weasley’s worrying more as comic relief, much like a lot of this chapter. All this cleaning and plotting seems slightly ridiculous given the grave things that we (and the characters) know are coming. We understand that the trio is going to find Horcruxes whether or not Mrs. Weasley allows them to plan. So, I think we’re inclined to give her a longer rope.
    That said, I think there’s a difference between justifiable and right. Mrs. Weasley’s actions (and methods) are entirely justifiable given the fact that she’s a mother. I even think her choice is a brave one. The entire Order and most of the good characters we see (trio included, until halfway through this book) place a tremendous amount of weight on what Dumbledore says. The reason that Harry keeps playing the “Dumbledore told me” card is because it works. Forget about this chapter; Harry gets away with showing up at Shell Cottage and giving no explanation for the fact that he’s accompanied by a dead house elf, two people who’ve been imprisoned for a really long time and Hermione, who looks like she’s been tortured. Mrs. Weasley is pretty much the only character who places her own instincts above Dumbledore’s word. And let’s face it, given what she knows, she’s right. The trio aren’t just a bunch of almost-children going off into danger. They’re a bunch of HER almost-children who are refusing all offers of help and support to go off into the wilderness, not to hide from the darkest wizard of all time but to try and defeat him. Oh, and let’s not forget that said darkest wizard has a horde of skilled followers who just killed the most seasoned Auror on the good side and nearly killed most of the rest of her family. Justifiable? Yes.
    Objectively, her actions may not be right. Yes, she’s sabotaging the best hope that the wizarding world has of defeating the darkest wizard of all time. Yes, manipulating people isn’t nice. Yes, manipulating your own children is probably less nice (though more frequent). Still, Mrs. Weasley is taking the best course of action available to her given her ideals, and she’s doing it pretty much alone. For sticking to her guns, I’ll say I admire her.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    The mothers in Harry Potter are SO important that we often forget how much they go through.
    Sometimes being left out of the action and having to wait if everyone returns alive is worse than being in danger. Molly has already lost family members to Voldemort, more specifically, she has lost her BROTHERS and could do nothing about it. She is caring for and giving love to everyone, she even feeds Mundungus at dinners in Grimmauld Place. Molly can’t unravel
    Voldemort’s secrets, can’t go on all kinds of missions for the Order of the Phoenix, she stays behind and gives everyone a place to return to and plenty of treacle tart. Molly Weasley takes in all the children whose parents aren’t there to care for them, she mothers the entire resistance.

    Of her seven children, one is far away from the family home, working with dragons. Jobs don’t get much more dangerous than that. Charlie is capable of looking after himself, but
    as soon as Molly gets the chance she does for him what she sees as necessary to keep him nice and comfortable (give him a proper haircut). Molly cries about Percy because he’s not there, even though he refuses all family bonds after GoF. There’s nothing he can do that would make her not love him, because he’s her son. Bill has just been seriously injured and will never recover fully, after being far away for years in a dangerous job. She welcomes Fleur into the family after they have found their common ground: loving their men fiercely. Molly has seen Ron get into one dangerous situation after another with Harry. When George and Fred do something risky she’s right there to point it out, because their recklessness makes them targets. We may laugh at the poster at their shop, but Molly reads it and can already see their lifeless forms, murdered, slain, dead. Molly has so many people she cares for, she can’t get a break from worrying.
    She needs the kids to help prepare for the wedding because there are so many things to do, and of course kids are expected to help in the house, especially when there are big
    days ahead. It’s about time that they learn to do that stuff, those who want to venture out better know how to deal with single socks.

    Molly has her flaws like all the adults in the books, so I say her concern is right, her interfering justifiable.

  • FeatherSickle7662

    Speaking as a parent, her behavior towards the Trio is definitely justifiable. When I first read the series I was a teenager and of course had that ideology of “Parents Suck” so I thought differently then. But I relate to Molly now. I would die for my son, and Molly does risk dying for her children during the battle. She risks dying just having Harry in her house, but she does it. She loves Harry, Hermione and her children and is willing to sacrifice everything.
    Now in regards to Molly’s ignorance about the conflict between Harry and Voldemort, everyone is pretty ignorant I think. Even with the Order knowing Harry is The Chosen One, I don’t think they fully grasp it. Molly of course does not and still sees Harry as that little boy in Kings Cross asking how to get on the platform. It is difficult to see them as anything other than children in regards to Molly.
    The only thing that seems to be a bit out of order is Molly sending Ginny back to school. I am assuming that the reason her and Arthur send her back to school is to not put any moles in the ministry on their case. If they make everything seem like its normal then the moles in the ministry wont suspect they have any information about Harry. Plus, Ginny is going to do what she wants I think. She overall listens to her parents but she is just as strong willed as her mother. Not to mention those eyes being the same exact shade as Molly. #getsmeeverytime

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Hogwarts is made compulsory when Snape becomes headmaster, if they had wanted Ginny to stay at home she would have needed a cover story why she can’t attend school.

      • FeatherSickle7662

        I forgot about this ^^ but I think they could have easily used the same cover story as Ron’s but just made her seem like she had dragon pox by transfiguring her own face a bit. It is afteral supposed to be quite contagious

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Maybe that would have worked. But the ministry could have considered the Burrow a health hazard with so many contagious people being there and who knows what they’d have done then. Sending Ginny to Romania with Charlie would have been possible, too. And then telling the new headmaster “Daughter? What daughter? Did you have a daughter, Arthur? Sorry, can’t help you with that, _Severus_.”

  • RoseLumos

    Let’s look into the hypothetical situation if the Trio actually told Mrs. Weasley what was happening:

    Mrs. Weasley: What are you three doing?
    Ron: Actually, mum, we are planning on dropping out of Hogwarts to look for dark objects that contain Voldemort’s soul so that we can finally kill him. We will be doing some incredible risky tasks and there is a good chance we will all be dead by the end.

    (Mrs. Weasley goes into a rage and locks the three of them up in Ron’s room and puts bars on the window, a la Vernon Dursley)

    Look, she knows that they are planning something related to the war. She knows that Harry is part of a larger mission and it’s heavily implied that he will have to face him head on. I think she knows much more than we give her credit for and I bet she is discussing this all with Mr. Weasley, Bill, Lupin, and Tonks. However, I think she is completely justified. People make illogical decisions in times of stress. I think she knows that the Trio is about to go on a difficult and dangerous mission. But as much as it needs to be done, I don’t think she wants it to happen. I think she is hoping that the longer she can delay them, the greater chance that the Order will end the war themselves or that the Trio will change their mind at the last minute. Molly is a smart person – even though she knows what is going to happen, she doesn’t want to see them leave and she is doing anything possible to keep them safe and out of the way.

  • lifeanddragons

    I’m actually rather proud of Mrs. Weasley for not giving in to the excuse that “Dumbledore said don’t tell so no questions asked.” like the rest of the order. These three are supposedly off to destroy the most evil wizard of all time, a person that could not be defeated for 11 years the first time around, the person who’s followers were responsible for the death of her brothers and possibly many others she knew, a person the ministry has had zero control over in the past 2 years, the person who was responsible for the death of Dumbledore, greatest wizard of his time as well the only one who might have been capable of destroying him in the first place. Ahh yes..hello, 3 kids who are barely of age, who I have taken care of and raised for 17 years (6 fr Harry and Hermione but yeah) please, go off on a mission and possibly die and not come back. I have other kids when you guys run off. SAID NO MOTHER EVER. She’s manipulating them an cornering them, but that’s because they’re not telling her anything. She doesn’t know about the horcruxes, or about the prophecy, but I feel like even if she did, nothing would change. One could argue that this is Molly just not knowing when to let go, but this isn’t like your son going off on a job, or moving out to start their own business, which she has managed quite well, despite some initial hesitation. The situation is completely different. And basically, Molly Weasley is not Dumbledore. She would never consider giving up anyone, let alone Harry or any of her kids for the greater good. The greater good is nothing compared to the safety and well being of one’s own family. It might be selfish, but on a fundamental level, most people are Molly Weasleys rather than Albus Dumbledores.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    One of the genius things about this series is that it reads differently on subsequent readings. Part of that is just knowing things you didn’t know before, but its also your understanding of the story changing as your perspective changes. As a kid you identify fully with Harry. The adults seem either good or bad, they aren’t as fully fleshed out because you can’t understand their perspective yet. Then you re-read it as you get older and start to see things from the adult’s perspectives and everything looks different. As a young person you see Molly’s interference as just annoying. You wonder why she won’t just trust them and let them go off on yet another death-defying adventure. Hey, they made it through before and they’re willing to risk their lives to do this important mission. But as an adult, especially a parent, you realize that as much as you feel like a “grown up” at 17, you don’t seem like one to an actual adult. You are a child and adults are supposed to protect children. Molly doesn’t seem as unreasonable when you’re able to understand her perspective. She wants to protect her kids, she wants them to have a childhood and a future. She doesn’t want them to end up like her brothers. She can’t find out what they are planning, she can’t talk them out of going, so she does what she can with what little power she has over them. It’s understandable, it’s justifiable, and it’s a little bit sad knowing that she knows that she won’t be able to protect them in the end.

  • Time&RelativDimensionInHandbag

    Molly and Harry’s relationship in this chapter provides the prelude to one of my very favorite moments in the whole series:

    “”It’s traditional to give a wizard a watch when he comes of age,” said Mrs. Weasley, watching him anxiously from beside the cooker. “I’m afraid that one isn’t new like Ron’s, it was actually my brother Fabian’s and he wasn’t terribly careful with his possessions, it’s a bit dented on the back, but–”

    The rest of her speech was lost; Harry had got up and hugged her. He tried to put a lot of unsaid things into the hug and perhaps she understood them, because she patted his cheek clumsily when he released her, then waved her hand in a slightly random way, causing half a pack of bacon to flop out of the frying pan onto the floor.”

    Regardless of how Molly should or shouldn’t have behaved during the days leading up to the wedding, it’s always reassuring to me that Harry gets that she loves him. For all his emotional cluelessness, he’s starting to get it and to understand that it means something to her to hear back what her love and care has meant to him. Haven’t we all tried to “put a lot of unsaid things” into a hug when we can’t quite say what we want to, but know that the other person needs to hear it? I think that moment would have had less impact if the stress of the previous days hadn’t been there. It’s not that they didn’t frustrate each other, but they’re family, and I think that it’s super important for Harry to leave her on this note.

    • lifeanddragons

      Also Molly knows so much about her kids. It’s lovely that she and Arthur got Ron a brand new watch for his birthday. Because Ron is someone who has gotten hand-me-downs all through his life, and he definitely wouldn’t have appreciated Fabian’s old watch, despite the sentimental value it held to Molly. I’m sure it was expensive but they knew he would like a new one much better. But for Harry who has never had the feeling of belonging and the feeling of family, that old watch was the best thing he could have gotten from the Weasleys.

  • Felix Scamander

    Molly has no ideas of what is going on, she simply sees her son and his two best friends running off and abandoning their education. She’s only demonstrating motherly love/protection/worries and trying to prevent what she thinks is their little ‘gap year’. She is worried that Harry misunderstood Dumbledore and is about to go on a potentially life-threatning mission, dragging along her son and their best friend, and is trying to stop them. She has no idea of the importance of the mission and wants them to stay safe at Hogwarts.

  • Tracy

    I think she’s justified. It’s a bit annoying but like Alison mentioned on the show, she’s mom. She just wants them to be safe. Sure she might have more of an idea of what’s going on then she’s letting on but she’s always been consistent in the series in underestimating her kids (and I include Harry and Hermione as her kids). I think in many ways she’ll always just see them all as eleven year olds getting on the train to Hogwarts for the first time.