The Sugar Quill
Author: shanfawn16  Story: The Ones Left Behind  Chapter: The Ones Left Behind
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The Ones Left Behind

The Ones Left Behind

 

Disclaimer:  It’s JKR’s pond, I just want to wiggle my toes in it!

 

 

A/N: This is the second installment in a series of stories that started off as a one-shot titled The Long Road Ahead.  This story carries on where the first left off, and the series are from differing viewpoints,  all centering on the search for the Horcruxes.  Please read and review! As always, thanks to my fabulous beta, Thrennish, for her patience and support.

 

 

          Molly Weasley paced back and forth across her kitchen, tightly twisting and wringing the old dishtowel in her hands. She was filled with more nervous energy than she could handle, and frankly, there was nothing left to use it on. She had finished all of her standard household chores, scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom – three times – and had even started sorting through her husband’s plug collection, for lack of anything else to keep her mind off the present. Looking over at her clock for what must have been the millionth time, she scolded herself for being so silly. Besides, all the hands had been pointing to “Mortal Peril” for so long, she didn’t know why she kept it at all. And, she reminded herself, the children haven’t even left yet.

 

            Children – she had to stop thinking of them like that. They were all of age, and had all faced and overcome more than most wizards with twice their years. But somehow, she just couldn’t make herself see them as they were now. In her mind’s eye she saw Ron – tall, gangly, and unsure of himself, boarding the train to Hogwarts on his first day with a smudge of dirt on his nose. All he’d ever wanted was to be recognized for his own merits, and not continuously shadowed by his brothers. Harry would forever be shy, insecure, and far too skinny – as far as she was concerned. He had always wanted to simply fade into the crowd and have a normal life, although she knew he would never allow someone else to shoulder his burdens. And then there was Hermione. Even though she had become a lovely young woman, Molly always thought of her as that bushy-haired, over-zealous young girl who just had to know everything, and often did.  Well, maybe Hermione hadn’t changed that much, Molly smiled to herself.

 

          For a moment, Molly allowed her thoughts to wander to her daughter. Poor Ginny, who always had to be so strong and so independent, just to keep up with her older brothers. She had loved Harry for so long, and now she had to let him go. She put up quite a fight, too. Once again Molly smiled to herself as she thought about the many ways in which her daughter followed in her footsteps. She didn’t interfere in Harry and Ginny’s fights about allowing her to go with them. She knew she wouldn’t have to. As much as Ginny wanted to go and stay close to Harry and the others, she knew Harry wouldn’t allow it. And, she knew that deep down, Ginny didn’t need to fight about it. She’d stay behind because that’s what Harry wanted. All the fighting and the noise was her way of letting him know how much she loved him.

 

          Molly knew that they hadn’t wanted to tell her of their plans, wanting instead to sneak away to avoid all the drama of arguing about it. But as always she had to push and push and get to the bottom of everything.  Once again, it seemed like these three children – no, not children – were being forced into the middle of some dreadful situation, and once again it seemed as though they would have to do it on their own.

          In one moment, everything had changed. The very person Dumbledore had repeatedly defended had been the one to strike him down. Her mind spun at the ramifications of that act. They were left without a leader. And, once again, Harry was the one who would have to pick up the pieces and fight. Molly was so glad that he had Ron and Hermione on his side, but her heart ached with the knowledge that their safety was now out of her hands. Without warning, images of her Boggart flashed before her eyes, and she almost cried out, squeezing her eyes shut to try and deny her greatest fears. How could she allow them to go off and do this?

 

          Suddenly overwhelmed by her feelings of helplessness, Molly threw her dishrag against the wall, letting out a sob. She was not one to fall apart like this. She was supposed to be the strong one – the one who always had control of every situation. Trembling against the onslaught of grief and fear that was threatening to take over, she grasped the side of the counter and tried to collect herself.  It was at that moment that Arthur appeared at the door, arriving home from work. 

 

          Rushing to her side, Arthur gently took her in his arms and held her, whispering soothing words to her as she cried. She clung to him and allowed him to cradle her against him, wishing that somehow he could make this situation better. He spoke no words of assurance – they both knew that there weren’t any. How could he say that they would be all right? Chances are, they wouldn’t be. None of them would be. This was a war, after all, and tomorrow would arrive soon enough, taking these three brave young wizards away to face Merlin knows what. As he held her, she could feel his love surrounding her, and it gave her the strength she needed.

 

          After a while her tears slowed, and she looked up to meet her husband’s eyes. In them she saw the same fears and worries that she felt. Taking her hand in his, he led her from the kitchen towards the stairs to their bedroom. With one last glance at the clock, Molly turned and followed, knowing that whatever her ‘children’ needed from her, she’d give it – no matter what.

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