[Gen] At What Cost Title: At What Cost Rating: PG Pairing(s): None. Character(s): Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, the Weasleys Summary: Molly Weasley dies. Set in Harry's 7th year, Harry's POV. Word Count: 516 A/N: First posted April 2006. :)
You have no idea why you're all in Mr. Weasley's office at the Ministry. You imagine that they can't handle being at The Burrow just now. It makes sense to you. It was the same way that you felt, visiting Godric's Hollow. Although you imagine that it's worse for them. It had been their home. She had been their home.
You feel like an outsider. You look at Hermione; she looks back at you, her eyes betraying her, even though she appears calm, otherwise. She looks the same way you feel. Tired, confused. Out of place.
You can tell she's crying, but not like the others. A silent tear falls every now and again, and she bats them away periodically, as if swatting at a fly.
You want to say something--anything, especially to Ron. He's your best mate, and you know that he would have something to say to you, if you were in his shoes. But you know that nothing you could say would make any difference, and the family seems to have forgotten your presence, anyway. You don't blame them. You're just glad that they have each other to look to for comfort.
Most of them are sobbing uncontrollably, and you feel as if you should shut your eyes to spare them the embarassment, but you know that they don't care. Percy is sandwiched in between Fred and George, both of whom are hugging him ferociously, as if to say that all is forgotten.
Ginny, Ron, Bill, and Charlie are huddled in a group in the corner. Bill and Charlie's backs are to you, so you can't see exactly what's going on. From the way their shoulders are shaking, though, you're sure you can guess.
Mr. Weasley is the only one who doesn't seem to be crying. You can't really tell, though. He's sitting at his desk, head in his hands. To you, it seems as if he's in shock. You imagine that you probably would be, too, if you were him.
Your mind returns you briefly to the summer before your fifth year. You recall that day; the one on which you witnessed Mrs. Weasley struggling with her boggart. This seems so wrong, so backwards. She was supposed to have been here, cooing to them all and telling them that it would be all right. You wonder vaguely what's going to keep them all going, now that she's gone. It always seemed to you that she held them together, pressed them on. What was to become of them now?
Looking back, it seems as if that really was the turning point in the war effort. The fact that at least she had not died in vain is your only consolation. You tell this to Ron, too, hoping that it helps. He smiles sadly, saying that, if this was the price to pay for winning, he'd almost rather have lost. You know he doesn't mean it, but you pat him on the shoulder, anyway, in what you hope is a comforting way. You know that you've won, but you can't help but think--at what cost?