A/N: This was written for the The Last Ship Standing Competition on the HPFC, round 4. My ship is Arthur/Molly and I used the word prompt, the quote prompt, the action prompt and the emotion prompt.
"There's going to be a war, isn't it? Again."
Molly nodded silently, but Arthur could read in her eyes all the things she didn't say out loud.
They both knew what this meant and what was lying ahead of them. Once again there would be uncertainty and deaths for Merlin knows how long. Would it go on for over a decade, just like the last time? How many friends would they lose? And what about their family? The last time, it had been the two of them, but now they had their children to look after as well.
Arthur remembered all too well how devastated Molly had been when Fabian and Gideon had died and how infuriated she had been when Ginny had been left to die only a month ago. Thank goodness she had made it, he knew they both could not have taken it if she had died.
"I thought he'd be gone for good," Molly muttered.
They both thought back on the dark times they thought they had left behind. What had happened to Ginny had brought back dark memories they rather not have remembered. It was a twisted kind of nostalgia, remembering all those who had died, fighting for something they believed in, remembering all the lives were taken because one man wanted to be the most powerful.
Finally, Molly said the words that were on both their minds. "I'm terrified."
Arthur showed her a weak smile. "Remember what Dumbledore used to say? Courage is not the absence of fear…"
"… it's knowing that something else is more important."
"Exactly. It's okay to be scared. I'm terrified as well. I'm afraid we'll lose everything once again. But it's better to not live forever and fight for what you believe in, than to be a coward and only live in fear. That's not really living. I'm sure Fabian and Gideon would agree with that."
"I know." Molly clenched her fists. "But it's infuriating that a single man can destroy an entire nation in his strive for power. That… that monster almost killed our daughter! I still hear Ginny crying in her sleep every night and there's not a thing I can do to help her!" Hatred laced her words as she banged her fist hard on the table, ignoring the pain that created.
Arthur placed his hand on her clenched fist. "We can't take away her nightmares. That's something she'll have to deal with herself. We can only show her that we are here for her."
"Doesn't it make you angry?"
"I'm madder than I've ever been. It's eating on me from the inside, and just want to go to wherever he's at and kill him for using our daughter like that."
"You seem rather calm."
"I guess I'm just better at hiding it," Arthur shrugged slightly. "I've never been one for emotional outbursts, you know that."
"You crop it all up until some day you'll explode," Molly said, slightly scolding. "That's not good for you, Arthur."
"I know that," he replied a bit agitated.
They sat in silence for a while.
Arthur studied his wife's features. Ginny's abduction had aged her more than an entire war could have done. He knew he didn't look too good himself either, that's what the mirror told him every morning. It had taken a toll on all of them, not just Ginny.
"He'll come after Harry again, won't he?" Molly said after a while.
Arthur hesitated for a moment, then sighed. "It wouldn't surprise me. "
"I don't want the children to get involved in this. War is not for children! We should tell Ron that he can't see Harry anymore and…"
Arthur just stared at her and Molly looked away, suddenly embarrassed.
"You wouldn't want Ron to abandon his friend when he most needs him, would you?"
"You're right," Molly whispered. "I don't know what I was thinking. I…" There were tears in her eyes.
"I understand," Arthur said. "I understand and a part of me agrees. But if we told Ron to abandon his friend because it might get dangerous, that would go against everything we thought them, everything we believe in."
"But they're so young, they're only fourteen…"
"We can try to keep our children out of the war as long as possible, but there'll come a time when that won't be enough anymore. There'll come a time when they too have to make a decision about wrong and right. And when then time comes, we want them to show courage, not fear, don't we? We'd want them to not run away, but fight for what they believe in."
"I know," Molly sighed with a heavy heart. "I only hope they are at least of age when they'll have to make that choice."
Once again they sat in silence, one of fear and dreading. They both knew that there would come a day when their children would choose to fight as well, but they were determined to postpone that day as long as they possible could.