Molly looked around the
hospital wing. It was quiet here since everyone had left, though her son Ron
and his friend Hermione had stayed for a little while, just sitting and being
with Harry. This place never gets any cheerier, does it? Molly thought.
Not even in forty years… Ron and Hermione had gone back to the Gryffindor
common room. It is just as well, Molly thought. They’ve seen too
much tonight. Molly shivered, pulling her robes closer around her. There
was a chill in the air tonight that had nothing to do with the weather.
Another war, she thought wearily. Another bloody war, another
chance to waste all of our young people, people like Arthur’s brothers, of
which only one is left now. Molly sighed.
Molly turned to see her youngest
child hovering in the doorway. She looked very small and fragile. So
easily crushed. Molly shivered again. “Ginny, what are you doing here?”
she asked softly.
Ginny said nothing, but came
over and climbed up into Molly’s lap. She was getting to be a bit tall for
this, but Molly wanted very much to hold someone, and her daughter
seemed to need her. Ginny could still put her head down on Molly’s shoulder,
though, which was nice.
“He’s back, isn’t he?”
Ginny’s voice was flat and tired.
Molly’s heart gave a great,
painful slam. How did she know about this? “What makes you think that,
“I just know. I can feel
Molly said nothing—she didn’t
want to say the words. As usual, Ginny seemed to know when not to press for
information, and didn’t say any more. At length, Ginny picked up her head and
looked toward the bed where Harry lay. She asked, “Is he going to be all
Molly’s eyes flicked up to
Harry’s face, so pale in sleep. I wish I knew that he would, darling.
“I hope so. He’s had a trying time.”
“He’s so alone.”
Her voice was not wistful or
wanting…she was grieving. “Harry has his friends, dear.”
“But not in the summer.”
“We will try to bring him to
the Burrow a bit sooner, Ginny.”
Her daughter nodded and fell
silent. Ginny cuddled against her mother’s shoulder and Molly’s hand came up
to stroke her hair. How much more? she thought. How much more can
Oh, how happy we
all were when he went away the first time…did we ever think we would be free so
easily? A tear made its way down her
cheek. Why weren’t we more watchful? But no, we all just wanted a ‘normal’
life, we only wanted to be free…we wanted to slap all the Death Eaters in jail,
never mind whether they were guilty or innocent, never mind justice. How
careless we were! How selfish! We should have known better!
Molly’s hand tightened where
it was entangled in her daughter’s hair, then loosened. Ginny was asleep,
heavy in her arms, reminding her of what it was like to hold her sleeping body
as a small child. I never wanted to have them go through this…I never
wanted my children to have to fight. And now they must. I suppose I should be
proud of them…but why do I only feel shamed that we, their parents, let them
We are going to pay a
price, she thought. Evil deferred
always exacts a price, and this will be for thirteen years of carelessness. My
daughter should be able to sleep without nightmares…my son shouldn’t have to
see his best friend in this much pain. And Harry…what will happen to him?
Where will it end? When
will it end? How many of our children will we have to watch die? Molly brushed the tears from her cheeks and swallowed
hard. She straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath. As few as
possible, if Arthur and I have anything to say about it. And I, for one, will
be watchful—that we will never be that careless again. Molly pressed a
kiss into her sleeping daughter’s hair.
“You will have a chance,”
Molly whispered fiercely. “You all will.” She looked up and out of the
window to wait for sunrise.