Disclaimer: Harry Potter isn't mine; this story is.
A/N: I know Ron mentions his father in the epilogue of DH, but considering we've veered off into our own universe in light of some of the other information JKR has offered, I'm taking the aftermath off into a more alternate universe as well. I don't usually play with cannon, but in this case, JKR once mentioned that she'd almost killed off Arthur in OotP, so I felt like it was an (awful) avenue to explore. We'll see where this goes, I guess. This is a short one, but my first chapters always are. Longer ones to come, I promise. If you're reading… PLEASE REVIEW!
It was just supposed to have been a simple trip to the healer. Sure, he'd been having headaches more often than he used to, but it could have been stress, or it could have been age. It wasn't supposed to be anything serious. But here they were in St. Mungo's, waiting for a healer to come speak to them, and Molly Weasley could only remember feeling this scared three other times in her life. The first was when she'd gotten news that Gideon and Fabian had gone missing and were thought to have been taken by Death Eaters. The second was when Arthur had been attacked when he was patrolling at the Ministry. The third, of course, was when she'd lost Fred. She realized, suddenly, that Arthur was watching her. She tried to force a smile, and he laughed.
"It's ok, Mollywobbles," he whispered, and she turned a light shade of pink, relieved for the moment that they were still alone. "Everything will be ok. Stop expecting the worst."
She nodded, trying to look like he'd convinced her, but she could tell from the skeptical look in his eyes that she wasn't succeeding. She sighed. "I want everything to be ok. I just – well, it's not so easy to believe anymore that it actually will."
She was prevented from further speech by the entrance of a somber-looking witch. Molly's stomach clenched, and she wished irrationally that their children were with them. But then the woman began to speak, and she was suddenly glad that they weren't.
Arthur's face lost its color as he received news that he never expected, and listening to Molly's shaky breathing wasn't helping. But then she took his hand and gripped it tightly, and her strength flowed into him and made him calmer. Nothing could make any of this ok, but they were going to do this together. And that at least made it bearable.
Well, that's what he thought until they were left alone, and that's when the reality began to hit him. He turned to Molly, and the fear and pain and sadness in her eyes broke his heart into pieces.
"She said months," he whispered, afraid to trust his voice with any more volume, but she knew what he was doing and why, and she put her hands on his shoulders.
"She did," she answered, her voice wavering, but she held his gaze. "But we'll do whatever we can to try to make that longer. Ok? We won't give up. I won't give up."
He nodded, and then his arms were around her, and his face was buried in her shoulder, and she was holding him tightly as she had just two years earlier when they'd had to bury their child. This … this couldn't be happening right now. It wasn't fair to her or to their kids… and how on earth were they ever going to tell them?