The Sugar Quill
Author: shellebelle (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Dark Thoughts  Chapter: Default
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Ron and Hermione had gone back to the Gryffindor common room, which was just as well, Molly thought

 

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. 

 

“Mummy?”

 

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, Ginny?”

 

“I just know.  I can feel it.”

 

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 right?”

 

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 we stand?

 

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 down so?

 

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.

 

 

FIN

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