Dear Parvati,

It's been a long month, one of the longest ones that I can remember. My family, all my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and now three great-great grandchild have been popping in and out of my house, and I've barely had a moment to myself. Of course, I can't blame them for being worried about me, but it gets rather irritating to endure their constant barrage of questions about me. Now don't get me wrong, I love them all dearly, and their concern is touching, but a month of it is about three weeks too many.

Perhaps I should have started the letter off with this, but Liam died last month. Previously, when I've written about someone dying, I've started off with that, and then went from there. This time though, I've honestly more annoyed about my family not leaving me alone long enough to write this sooner. It has affected them, all of them, deeply. They have never had to deal with this kind of lose before, and I can see them struggling, trying to learn to live without him.

I think that even though they were supposed to be spending time with me to help me, I was the one that was helping them. Just like how Liam helped me when my parents died, I had to help them understand how this could have happened. Of course, at their age, my children have lost some friends, but I this was the first time they really lost someone close them

Of course, I'm less than thrilled about my husband of 67 years and one of the people I love most in the world dying, but I'll manage just fine. This time around, instead of the usual pain I've felt before when someone dies, I just felt acceptance. Yes, it's a little sad, but Liam wasn't young. It was his time to go.

I don't know how else to explain the lack of pain. I feel his absence keenly, but I know that I can live without him. He lived happily, even until the last day, when both he and I knew that this would be the last time I spoke to him. Even when I found him dead, I didn't feel any pain. It's a stark difference between our parents' death, and your death.

I can understand why Liam was at peace, and why I don't feel sad, or depressed at his death. I can't explain it, but I'm at peace with him leaving me. I've sat here for an hour trying to think of the words to express what I'm feeling, but I've failed. All I can say is that I'm okay with it.

That's not to say that I don't miss him, or that I wanted him gone. It's just that I know that his time was up, and I can accept that. I lived with the best man in the world for more years then I deserve, but now it's time to let him go.

I spent the last few weeks going through all of Liam's things. I gave most of his things to our various children and grandchildren. They'll know what to do with it better then I will. There were a few things that I kept for myself, but they were all old, mostly worthless, but I can't quite bear to part with them. I didn't know where to put them, so in the end I took down an old wooden box that Liam had made for me with muggle tools, almost half a century ago.

It's not much to look at, just a plain wooden box without decoration on it, but I remember how much time Liam put into that box. He called it a memory box, and gave it to me for our twentieth anniversary. Since then, I've stored many pictures and old cards in there. I had been meaning to go through it for ages now, but somehow, never got around to it.

I didn't remember how many things I had put on in there. Hundreds of cards lay on top, and after setting those to aside, there were still hundreds of jumbled pictures from spanning a hundred years. Ones of before we were born, of our parents looking younger then I had ever seen them. One of us, as young girls, beaming happily at the camera with the backdrop of Mumbai showing thousands of people moving behind us, now dressed in fashions we would laugh at.

There were ones of me and Liam getting married, waving happily, with all of our many friends and family standing next to us, people who are almost all gone now, or else look much older now.

In a flurry, up came the pictures of Will being born, shortly followed by Erin and Vena. Then the pictures show them growing up, getting older, putting on their Hogwarts robes for the first time, getting older, and then graduating. A few pictures later, their getting married, having their own kids, and raising their own families. It's their whole life story summed up in less time than it takes to read it.

After I had gotten over the pictures, I picked up all their cards they had sent me over the years. I had forgotten how many there were. Hundreds it seemed like, all telling their own story. It seems almost impossible that I could ever have been sent so many, or that I could have replied to them all. It's astounding to see how they grew up just by reading how the letters change. The first ones are all about Hogwarts, about what house they got sorted into, then about their grades, them confessing that they made of gotten in to a tiny bit of trouble with the professors. A few letters after that, and it's all about how they had to grow up, and then telling about that special person who they were sure they were going to marry.

And that was just my children's ones. A few years after that, ones started pouring in from my grandchildren, and soon enough, for my great grandchildren. It took hours to read them all, but it was worth it.

It wasn't until I reached the bottom that I found the pictures of you and me growing older, just where I had placed them so many years before. Here we are in Hogwarts robes for the first time, still as identical as always. Then the ones were we teenagers learning to cast spells without our mother knowing in the backyard. Next were the ones of the D.A., and then the first ones after the battle, when I'm alone.

I never realized how much different I looked before the battle. My smile was so carefree, wider then in all the other pictures that came after. There's one, in the summer before our seventh year, and I'm positively beaming. And then there's one some years later, with me standing next to Liam, and I'm beaming again, but it's not the same. There's just a hint of sadness in it, and looking through all the other pictures that came after the war, the sadness is always there.

After all the pictures, and letters, at the very bottom, where I carefully had placed them, were the letters the letters I had wrote to you after you died, and where I had carefully placed them each time I wrote a new one.

Reading them again, for the first time, I realize that I have a massive gift for understatement. The letters a sent to you in those first months are all so calm; they don't convey how hurt I felt. The words are true, but they didn't cover how devistated I was. You and I were never the same person. I remember when people were surprised that we acted differently. And we would just giggle and say we weren't the same person. But we had a bond that was close than most people couldn't even hope to share, built out of sharing the same life for the first eleven years, and then making sure to spend time together even after we were sorted into different houses.

And then you left without me, and I was more broken then I ever thought I could be. That first summer without you I didn't know how I could live without you. The summer holidays were our time to spend lots of time together, something we didn't get to do much at Hogwarts, and then all of a sudden, it was my time to live without you.

I remember struggling with writing those first letters to you. Each word I wrote reminded me that I would never get to say those words in person to you. I remember trying to stay composed as I wrote down those first words. I knew that it was only because I loved you so much that it hurt so much, but that didn't stop the pain.

Eventually it got easier, when I went back to Hogwarts. It took me breaking down (to put it mildly) where you had died for me to really accept that this really was going to be the last spot where I would see you. I remember sending the first letter to you after that. The words didn't come easier, but they were less painful to put down on paper.

The next couple of years were hard. I think they would have been hard no matter what, with the wizarding world trying to recover from Voldermort, but they were doubly hard without you there to support me. Sure, I made friends, but it wasn't the same. I was too hung up on wishing you were alive to really live a normal life.

But then I met Liam.

He made me feel like I could live without you. He could never make me forget you, or stop missing you, but he made me look forward to the next day. The very first day I met him, I stopped feeling quite as broken. He made me realize that there was still hope for lasting happiness for me. Though I doubt that he ever knew it, he gave me the courage to try and live without you. Because of him, I was able to let you finally let you go, to know that though I would always miss you, I would be able to have a full live, even if it was without you.

When he finally proposed to me, I accepted almost instantly. And the rest is history. We made a life together, supported each other, through me gaining a small bit of fame because of the D.A., through his parents dying, through having kids, to missing you, to my parents dying, through every bit of thick and thicker. I loved him dearly, and we had the best life I could imagine without you.

And now, like so many of my loved ones, he's gone. The man who put my world back into one piece died peacefully in his sleep, leaving only a handful of mementos, distraught children, and one woman that he had taught hope to, who loved him with everything she had.

I miss him as much as I miss you.

It won't be long until it's my turn to join you guys. A long time ago, I used to be afraid to die, but now, with so many loved ones gone before me, I don't see how I could possibly be scared.

With as much love as ever,

Padma


Well, that should be the end of my first story, at least until I feel up to improving it. I would just like to take a quick moment to thank everyone who took the time to read this story. Having grown out of a whim, It was a little bit surprising to me that so many people would be interested in reading it.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve this story, feel free to PM me or leave a review. I'm always eager to try and improve, so don't be sacred of hurting my feelings.

Again, many thanks,

Gambitized