I Was There
He remembered when it happened. The day when the magnificent trio became the couple and that guy. He remembered the first time his best friend saw what he'd always seen. They were in sixth year. Floating high above the pitch.
"I think Dennis needs to get a lighter bat." Ron hovered near Harry. "Hello? Harry? You there?"
"Huh?" The boy who lived swung around. "Oh. Yeah he probably does."
"You are distracted today."
"Did you notice Hermione's not here?"
"Yeah, she had that paper to work on."
"Oh. Yeah. I just noticed, its not the same when she's not here."
"Yeah. No lectures on aerodynamic theory. I believe you have a snitch to catch, Mr. Potter."
Harry smiled. "Yes, Mr. Weasly, I believe I do."
They threw themselves back into the practice. He knew, however, things had somehow changed.
That night, after they had said their good-nights, he 'borrowed' Harry's invisibility cloak and snuck back down. He could only see them from behind but their words thundered in his ears.
"You weren't at the practice today."
"I know." She tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. "I had to finish my transfiguration paper."
"Ron said that. It was just… I don't know… weird with you not there."
"Harry? Are you O.K.?"
""I've just been thinking a lot. About us. You and me." He closed his eyes, arranging his thoughts. "I think I'm in love with you 'Mione."
She didn't say anything. She just reached up and carefully took the glasses from his face. Then leaned forward and placed the lightest kiss on his lips before resting her head on his chest.
Harry wrapped his arms around her and let out the breath he'd forgot he was holding.
It was too much. Slowly, silently, he turned and fled back to the safety of the dormitory. It shouldn't be like this. Why did he always have to be the sidekick? Why couldn't he get the girl? He had loved her as long as he could remember. Long before Harry, even Krum. He seen the cute way she chewed the tips of her quills. The way she scrunched up her nose when she was going through a harder patch of homework. He had seen her genius for exactly that. Beyond the frizzy hair and big teeth, beyond the brain and the know-it-all attitude he had seen the beautiful woman she had become. Long before anyone else. Now he was in the dormitory and his best friend was holding her in his arms. But that was how it went for sidekicks wasn't it.
Few people noticed him slowly drift away. Few noticed him begin to spend time with the Slytherin. Why would they reject him? He was a pureblood after all.
He was initiated two weeks after they left Hogwarts. Right beside Malfoy and his goons he took the vows and was marked. That night, at a bar, as he drowned himself in a bottle of fire whisky, Snape sat, uninvited at his table. He remembered seeing him at the ceremony. The older man helped himself to a drink and watched him.
When he finally spoke he whispered, "I honestly expected more of you, Weasly. But then," He added almost as an afterthought, "Men have done stupider things over a girl."
That's what it all came down to: A girl.
He remembered that day on the battlefield. They final battle between light and dark. He was there. He saw it. He fought. Swathed in black robes. His wand in his hand. A stream of unmentionable curses on his lips. A mask firmly over his face.
He witnessed the final duel. The boy who lived and he who must not be named facing off. He saw their final curses fly. The flash of light. The stillness after. When Harry Potter stood victorious. And then fell to the ground. She pushed him as she ran to the hero's side. She cradled him and again he heard every one of their words.
"Did I do it?"
Rivers of tears broke through the dirt and mud on her face. "Yes, Harry. You did it."
He smiled. "Good. I'm tired 'Mione."
"Please don't do this to me, Harry. It's not supposed to end this way. It can't. You won."
"I'm free now. I love you so much." He whispered closing his eyes.
"NO!!!!" She screamed. "Don't leave me." Sobs wracked her body as she pulled his body closer.
He pulled his mask off and stepped toward her.
She looked up and stared at him a moment. "You were always his best friend." she whispered. She looked at his face a moment more. "Ron?"
"Tell my parents, I'm sorry." She drank the poison she'd hidden in her robes. She rested her head on his chest just like she'd done that first night and said, "Don't worry, Harry. I'll never leave you alone."
When her eyes closed that last time he made his way through he battle field to the scarred castle. As he passed he saw the bodies of people he had know from both sides. Even his own brothers. When he finally reached the nearly destroyed great hall Dumbledore noticed and approached him.
"Harry and Hermione?" he asked.
"There together now. Forever."
In the weeks that followed he lost count how many funerals he attended. He spoke to Hermione's parents and gave them her final message.
Now, the trials are over. People have almost forgotten the war of so many years ago. And he sit in in cabin in Hogsmead. People see the ghost of a little boy and girl about the old school now and then. They aren't like the other ghosts. Dumbledore, who is a spirit himself now, says there just a memory the castle wants to hold on to. A little first year with bushy hair and a boy with a scar on his forehead sneaking out after curfew. Even the very stones, he says, want to remember them. But the old man in the village does. The memories are all he has left. All there is for him is to whisper, "I was there."
A/N: I don't own Harry Potter or any other characters contained herein.