Alright everyone, here is the next drabble! I hope you enjoy it!
**Word: Hope and Death** Confused? I know, I know, I normally only do one word at a time, but this request (from LittleLionGirl again- thank you so much for all your requests and reviews!) was for either Hope or Death, as she felt both were important themes throughout the series. I thought about it, but I couldn't pick only one. So then I started to wonder if there was a way to combine the two. The result is this drabble: set in the seventh book, during the Battle of Hogwarts. It is supposed to be Molly's thoughts during that battle and about the tragedies she'd experienced before. Read on my darlings!
Hope leads to death.
I learnt that lesson many years ago, when I lost my brothers in the first war against You-Know-Who. Back then I had hoped and wished that my family would make it through the war alive and well. Each night I prayed to God to keep my family safe. I hoped and I hoped and I hoped.
And what did my hope get me?
The death of my siblings. The death of my brothers, who had been there for me my whole life.
I knew then that it was safer not to hope, because it did nothing. Hope would not cause death to spare your family. Eventually, your loved ones would die, and the hope would only make it more painful in the end.
So you would think that, after having had this lesson burned into me so strongly for so long, I would have been prepared for the second war. You would think that I would have learnt not to hope.
But when the second war came around, things were different.
Suddenly, I had so much to lose.
Not that I hadn't before, of course. Back then I had had my brothers and parents and husbands and children, though Ginny was only there for the final portion, of course. But I hadn't really needed to be worried about the kids. They were all still young, none of them actually old enough to fight in the war. So I kept them close to me and tucked them away from the world and knew they'd be safe. My parents also hadn't caused much of a concern. They were too old to really be in the thick of things. They offered support from the sidelines, but in the end they probably weren't high up on You-Know-Who or any Death Eater's hit list. Arthur and I were in the Order, or course, but we had seven children, most of them still very young, and I was pregnant for a decent portion of the war, so we weren't really expected to do anything big. The Order mostly let us stay at home and do research to help those in the battles survive while we raised our children. But my brothers, they were in the heart of every move the Order made, every battle they undertook. They were the ones on the front lines, constantly in danger. So they were the only ones I really worried about. They were the only ones I really hoped for.
And they were also the only ones to die.
It wasn't hard for me to connect the dots.
Maybe those dots should have stayed connected this time around, but now it wasn't just my brothers I had to worry about. Now nearly all of my children were of age and there wasn't a bloody thing I could do to stop them from fighting and getting themselves killed. And the only child I still had who should have been under my legal control was doing her damnedest to get into every single one of those battles anyways. Now my husband didn't have young children to raise and a pregnant wife to protect, so he was right there with his sons (and sometimes his daughter) on the front lines. Now I had eight people in my family to worry about. Not to mention my two basically surrogate children, Harry and Hermione, off with Ron trying to do a quest even Dumbledore failed to complete. To make matters worse, it wasn't my siblings this time, but my children. Not that I hadn't loved my brothers, because I did, more than my own life, but my children… it's an impossible love to describe. Until someone is a mother themselves, they cannot possibly understand what it feels like to love another creature the way a mother loves her child. There are no words.
And so conscious thought flew out the window and suddenly I found myself staying up all night, alone in the empty house, my family gone off to battle and on missions, and before I knew it my hands were clasped tightly together and pressed against my chest, and the words were falling off my lips like a mantra.
Please let them all survive. Please let them all survive. Please let them all survive.
Without meaning to, I was suddenly hoping. Hoping like I never had before. It wasn't just a candle, the metaphor for hope I had heard so many times. It was a God damned bonfire, blazing in my chest where my heart should have been.
I wanted so badly to be with them. I was sure that if I was just there I'd be able to watch them and protect them. Kingsley always suggested I stay at Headquarters and help by relaying information and doing the research that was necessary to even get us to the battlefields. Once I put my foot down and told him that I was going to fight, that there was nothing he could do to keep me sitting there, perfectly safe, while my entire family risked their lives. That was when he sat me down and told me that if I were in the field I wouldn't be able to properly defend myself due to my lack of training and my family members would get hurt since they'd be distracted trying to protect me. He told me that the best way for me to keep them safe would be to research from Headquarters. I didn't believe him entirely, of course. In my heart I hoped that if I were there, I'd be able to keep them safe. I would throw my body in front of theirs and take the curse for them, if that's would it took. Kingsley didn't understand. He had no children, so he couldn't understand. But he had me with the line about my family getting hurt trying to protect me. I had no doubt they would do just that.
So I grudgingly sat there, safe and sound, buried in my paperwork, and hoped and prayed.
As the war went on, I almost began to convince myself that hope wasn't the curse I had once pegged it to be.
There were deaths, of course, and they were the deaths of people I loved. They were deaths that cut me to the core and left me sobbing into my pillow throughout the night.
Sirius. Albus. Alastor. Ted.
But in the end, they were not the deaths I had feared the most. It sounded awful, but I had not outright hoped for their survival. I had wanted them to survive of course, but had I ever whispered the words out loud? No. I was too busy hoping for my own family.
Even within the family we had some close calls. Bill's mauled face. George's lost ear. But at the end of the day, I still managed to slide into bed content in the knowledge that all my family was still alive, despite (or perhaps, as I was reluctantly beginning to consider, because of) my hope.
Finally, we reached the final chapter of the war. The Battle of Hogwarts. You-Know-Who was there. Harry was there. And I knew in my heart that neither of them was planning on leaving that castle until the other was dead. One way or another, this fight would be the last one. By default, it would also have to be the deadliest. So there was no way I was going to let Kingsley leave me behind again.
My hands were shaking when I finally entered the castle that night, and I remember having the strangest thought as I stood in the Great Hall watching the army prepare itself for battle. I remember thinking, 'It's a good thing my hands weren't shaking this much during my N.E.W.T.s or I would've failed everything.' It did occur to me that that wasn't a great thought to have before going into a battle where aim would mean the difference between death of an enemy and death of an ally, but before I could really worry about it my eyes landed on Bill and George, discussing some defense or such. My gaze lingered on Bill's scars, George's ear, and my hands stopped shaking. I wasn't going to allow any more harm to come to my family.
We heard the banging of spells on the doors and I knew that it would be just moments before those doors blasted wide open and the first wave of Death Eaters would enter. I abandoned my superstition and sent a final, desperate hope to the sky, pleading for my family this one last time. And then the battle began.
When the Death Eaters finally retreated I breathed in deeply, and for a moment, one glorious moment, I truly believed that I was wrong, that hope didn't necessarily lead to death. Then I heard my husband screaming my name, panic and horror permeating his voice.
I assume I must have run to the sound of his voice, but I honestly don't remember it. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the Great Hall, my eyes locked on the dead body of my son.
Just as there were no words to describe the love a mother feels for a child, there are no words to describe the pain a mother feels when her child dies. I cannot explain the pain I felt when I saw Fred, dead.
I wasn't consciously aware of it, but somehow it was still there, the pain, in every cell, every molecule of my body, burning deep within, throwing up denials, no, no, no, because this cannot be real, because if it is I won't survive, I must be dead, I want to be dead.
There's rage and agony and fear and all the while I deny, deny, deny, even as I throw wordless curses to the heavens for playing this cruel joke on me, for making me think that everything will be okay, for giving me everything I always hoped for, and then wrenching it away in one agonizing impossible moment.
I feel everything and I feel nothing and it's over and it won't end and nothing has ever been this terrible.
So I grasp my son's hand tightly and sob.
I don't remember much after that. I remember the announcement of Harry's death, wrenching another horrific hole through my heart that has already been torn to shreds. I remember a battle, and centaurs, and a snake's head in the air. And then there's that flash of green light, which only ever means death, and it's only inches from my daughter's face.
Every wordless emotion I have within me from all this horror burns up and consumes me and I'm screaming and I'm fighting, and all I can think is damn it no more of my family is going to die. Then I hear a scream and I look up into the red snake eyes of You-Know-Who and his wand is raised and I know I'm going to die.
But then I don't.
A shield spell is protecting me and I can't believe it but it's Harry and he's alive and he's dueling You-Know-Who.
I want to block him, save him as I couldn't save Fred, but my feet seem to be rooted to the ground and all I can do is watch, tears streaming silently down my face.
And when the son of a bitch finally drops to the ground, it takes a moment before I understand.
You-Know-Who is dead.
Then there's screaming again, but somehow it's happy. I see my son and daughter throw themselves on Harry and they're crying again, as they've been all night, but now they're tears of joy.
The entire atmosphere has changed and in my shocked state, it takes me a moment to understand the emotion flooding through the room, washing over me in waves. But then I realize.
I look back at my children, my family, all lost in a joyous mass of love surrounding Harry and I realize that they can feel hope for themselves, hope for a happy future.
And, shockingly, I realize I feel it too.
I lower my gaze and I see, through a pile of arms and legs, You-Know-Who's body, being given a wide-berth even in all the excitement.
It's white and cold and still. It's the epitome of all things death.
And I realize that maybe I was wrong. Maybe hope doesn't always lead to death. Maybe sometimes, it is death that can lead to hope.
AN: I hope you all liked it and that it didn't depress anyone too much! It was a sad one, but it had a bit of uplift at the end. Okay, so at the VERY end. Better than nothing ;). Molly is another new POV for me so I hope I did her justice! I would love to hear any and all thoughts you guys had so please leave me a review! And, as always, I am accepting word requests. I will be back next week, my dear readers, so goodbye until then!