Disclaimer: Nothing is mine; everything is J K Rowling's.
I know the last chapter was ambiguous and incredibly introspective, but, well, you guys realise what happened at the end, right? The bit where the homunculus their souls are in catches fire...
And now it's the end!
The sun spilled through the leaves of the willow tree, falling in dappled patterns across white pebbles, sparkling, clear water, and glimmering crystal.
This was still their place.
She still came to meet with him here.
Only now she is the only one who speaks, because he cannot reply. She visits almost every day, even now, when a summer has already passed since she placed him here where their dream had been born, and where it should be remembered.
She had pinned him against the trunk, trapped him until he confessed the thing she had wanted so desperately to hear, and since then they had spent so many hours here, talking, kissing, sleeping, and dreaming.
Now she can remember hearing the footsteps of her parents, walking away up the hill, leaving her to grieve when they could not persuade her to move on, the sound of the soft spattering of her tears upon the tomb, and Gabrielle's quiet sobs at the loss of a wizard she had assumed a brother.
Fleur lifted the silver chain over her head.
This is the only place she would ever take it off for more than a moment.
The silver locket rests gently over its partner, separated by inches of clear, hard stone, the ring, the thing she has pinned all her last, desperate hopes upon, rolls to rest against the end of Harry's wand.
'We tried again,' she tells him, as she has a hundred times. 'We failed again, but one day, we'll succeed. I'll create a resurrection stone that will bring you back, even if I have to create every aspect of you from magic itself I will do it, and we'll have our dream.'
Beneath the layer of crystal his smile was faint and proud.
'The ring does not really show you to me,' Fleur whispered. The shade it gave her was not truly him. She knew from the runes she had interpreted that it was but an echo. He knew things he should not, lacked some of the smallest, most essential pieces of Harry, the ones had made him who he was. Fleur could not bear to use it anymore, so she had stopped, promising herself never to look again until she was successful, and Harry was at her side once more.
Her and Gabrielle had both promised, learning in the bureau they had both joined, delving deeper and deeper into experimental enchanting in an attempt to rediscover what they needed.
'I made something today,' she told him, picking up his wand. 'It's a silly little thing,' she admitted, placing the simple, black butterfly on the tree trunk, 'but it reminded me of you.'
Harry's smile remained unchanged, and she swallowed hard, tears prickling at the edges of her eyes. The butterfly warmed its wings in the sun, a real, living creature ensnared and changed by her magic into the exact likeness of Harry's conjurations.
'I broke my promise to you too as well,' she confessed, smiling slightly. 'I showed Gabby the memory of the Room of Requirement. She loved it, of course.' Fleur's face fell, for Gabrielle had loved it so much she had cried again. 'You would be so embarrassed,' she sighed, 'and I'm sure you would tease me horribly until you felt we were even again.'
She rolled the wand between her fingers, listening to the echo of Harry's magic within it.
Fleur had only ever cast a single piece of magic with his wand since he had stepped through the doors and into the courtyard. It was the same enchantment that had been placed on Dumbledore's tomb to keep him from decay. She could not bear to think of her Harry rotting, and withering beneath the earth.
'Britain is still changing,' she said slowly, repeating herself. 'The Ministry of old is all but gone, washed away in the wake of war, and a new country is rising. You would have liked the changes. The corruption is cleaned away, and you're a hero again.' She laughed a little, because Harry would have hated that. He had never wanted to be a hero, a martyr, or anything other than hers.
Fleur's fingers tightened about the ebony wand, clutching it to her chest, and pouring her magic over it, immersing herself in that faint echo of Harry within.
'Why did you have to die?' She asked him brokenly.
Harry's magic, the faintest trace of it, caressed hers, its cold, fluid rush sweeping gently over her.
'I would have fought beside you if you'd let me, I should have anyway,' she whispered guiltily, placing the wand back upon the tomb, 'then at the very least we would have fallen together, and I would not be left chasing echoes.'
The wand lay still, but she was sure, just for an instant, that it whispered back. There were no words in what she heard, just the simple, quiet murmur of comfort he had made when he used to hold her.
A soft hoot came from the branches above, and Fleur's eyes snapped up.
An owl? They should not be able to find me here.
The willow tree was well warded.
She froze in surprise at who she saw hopping down the branches towards her, a pale twig grasped within her talons.
The snowy owl had vanished, and neither Fleur or Gabrielle had seen or heard anything of her.
'You look terrible,' Fleur whispered.
The owl's feathers were tinged grey, moulting, ruffled and bedraggled with patches of plumage entirely lost all across her body. Her eyes were bloodshot and glassy, pupils gaping wider than was natural.
She hooted tiredly, hopping closer, dropping whatever she was carrying onto the floor beside the tomb, and lurching, lunging towards the edge of the tomb before faltering and stopping, gasping and wheezing only inches away.
Fleur bent and picked up what the owl had dropped, holding it between her fingers in disbelief.
The Elder Wand.
'Reparo,' she breathed. The wand resisted, Fleur could feel it protest at serving one it did not call master, but the pieces of her rosewood wand, broken in Hogwarts, flowed seamlessly back together regardless.
Hedwig lurched forwards with horrible, hissing wheeze, placing one foot upon Harry's basilisk-venom wand, and freezing, falling dead still, eyes gleaming with the eldritch.
It was a glow she knew, a bright, ethereal glimmer that had been in both Harry's emerald eyes, and Voldemort's scarlet ones.
Magic shivered, white fire pooling from the wand tip, the same flames that had been said to consume Voldemort in his final moment of madness, and bright, familiar frost encircled the slender length of ebony from the wand's other end. The two met in the middle, pushing against one another for an instant before they faded, and a pool of smoking black tar seeped from the wand to dissipate across the top of the tomb.
The snowy owl coughed, a raw, hoarse, horrible sound, and from her beak spilled a tendril of shadow. Fleur watched, fascinated, terrified, desperate not to hope, but unable to resist wishing. Harry had told her stories of how his first Defense teacher had died, and the dark vapour that had fled from him as he burnt.
Hedwig coughed again, blood spattering across the crystal, and a thick, dark mist pouring from within her to writhe above the tomb. The owl slumped down among the pebbles, ruined, white feathers stained crimson, eyes blank.
The shadows coalesced above the tomb, a formless, shapeless thing that radiated magic in a terrible, oppressive aura that burnt and froze her skin.
Faceless it stood before her, smiling without lips, staring without eyes, whispering without a voice. One blurred, vaporous hand stretched to the surface of the tomb, and with a violent crack the crystal shattered, shadows scattering.
Fragments poured to pile around her feet, but she did not notice, did not care, for bright, vibrant, emerald eyes had flashed open, and a dream defied its death.
AN: Please read and review, thanks to everyone who has, and I hope you all enjoyed the story at least until chapter 100... I leave interpreting the ending to you guys, there are just enough hints scattered throughout to give away the truth of what happened, but I'm not one for spoon-feeding, so have fun! I always prefer endings open enough to let you pick a preference.
P.S. I am in the midst of writing another story, although planning would likely be a more apt description. It's A Song of Ice and Fire, rather than Harry Potter, and because the world is so complex and clever composing a plot is proving equally intricate! Hopefully I'll start posting chapters relatively soon, though I doubt it will be written at the same pace as this one was; there's far more to consider!
UPDATE: I've posted the prologue of A Canvas of Crowns, my ASOIAF fic, so anyone interested is obviously welcome to read it!
DOUBLE UPDATE: One of my original fics is now in the novel contest at Inkitt, so anyone who wants to check that out (and hopefully vote for it) can do! There's more detail and a link in my profile if anyone's interested.
PROBABLY FINAL UPDATE: The original fic I'm writing is now also on Fictionpress, and anyone who wants to read it is better off looking there rather than on Inkitt because it's just a much much better interface!