Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the books' characters [wish I did, though . . . :'(]

Summary: The only one left, she must learn to cope . . .

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~Shards~

By, ViXeN (I know feral-fire is my username, but ViXeN is my real nickname)

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I'm standing at the lake, looking out over its deceptively calm sheet, wishing that something - even the giant squid - would surface to keep me company.

But no one will come. They're all afraid to face me; they don't know what to do, what to say. After all, what can you say to someone who survived a bitter, cruel war and lost everything but her life?

Yeah. Not much to say.

So they don't come near. And I'm alone.

I've spoken to a few people who still care enough to try and help me get back on my feet again. They think I might hurt myself if I'm left alone any longer. Little do they know that I'm already hurt enough. I'm too weary to do anything.

Sick and tired, I still stand alone.

Why am I standing? Why couldn't I have taken one of their places? They shouldn't have had to die just so that I could live. What kind of life is this?

The last person I spoke to was Ginny, and that was three days ago. She was crying again, because she misses him. He was her brother; her favorite, closest brother. Her protector. He was everyone's brother.

I told her not to give up hope.

Do you know what she told me? She told me what everyone else keeps telling me. She told me that Voldemort killed Ron, and that Harry died a month ago in the final battle, under a magical shroud of poison. She told me that I have to wake up and realize that they're both gone.

I won't do that.

I saw Harry and Ron for the last time that morning when I went to join Remus at the Death Eaters' camp, and they headed off with Sirius to Voldemort's mountain. Harry hugged my and kissed my forehead and whispered: "Wait for us." Ron said - what did Ron say? Oh yeah, I remember.

"Watch the sky for us, 'Mione. We'll be back."

They said they'd be back. And Harry and Ron always keep their promises. Always.

And what about Sirius? He kissed me for the first time that morning, and swore to me that he loved me and that he always would. If only he could know how much I still love him, how much I still ache and need him.

He came back alone three days after they had left. He told me Voldemort was dead.

Dumbledore heard the rest of the story, because when I saw them carry in Remus' body, I fell unconscious and didn't hear what Sirius told us about Harry and Ron.

So I guess I shouldn't still be surprised when people tell me they're dead.

I just won't believe it. They promised they'd be back.

Sirius left not long after. It broke my heart, but I knew he had to get away from this place, from this life. He needed an escape to somewhere where no one knew him, where there was no magic and no sorcery, where he could be safe from the memories and demons that haunted him.

If only he was still here. I need him so much. I love him so much.

And I love them too. They were my brothers, my friends, my life.

I need to escape my demons too. Hogwarts isn't a safe place for me anymore, not when every nook and cranny and room produces another memory. Not where every messy head and twinkling-eyed boy is Harry, or every redheaded, crooked-grinning one is Ron. Not where every handsome, rakish smile is Sirius.

My demons will never rest as long as they stay away from me.

I still stand by the lake. Night has fallen, but I don't even notice. Time, hours, days, weeks, they make no difference to me anymore. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing but them.

They were there for me through thick and thin. Ron was my laughter, my energy, my spirit. He picked me up when I was down, he made me laugh when I wanted to cry, he glued back the broken pieces of my spirit.

Harry was my courage, my strength, my smile. He made me fight when I would have given up. He made me live when I could have died. He filled the voids of sadness with a smile that replaced every lost piece of my life.

And Sirius . . . Sirius was my heart. My soul. My love. When there was no one else, he was there to bring the light back to my eyes and the joy back to my life. He was there to hold me until my nightmares subsided, to fight for me when I was too weak, to protect me from everyone, including myself. He was there to find every last fragment and put my life back together when it fell apart.

They made me whole. They made me live. They made me, me.

So no one can understand why I still believe in them. Why I trust that their promise won't be broken, that our bond can never be broken. They told me they would come back.

Someone tell me they'll be back.

But I'm still waiting.

They're not coming back.

So why am I still watching the sky?

I continue to stare, hypnotized by the stars that twinkle and glow above, each having its own little story, each having its own happy ending. And mine? Where's my happy ending?

The hours go by, and I know that this is just one more night and one more day that will end in lost hope. There is so sign of them yet. After two months, they have not returned.

Even Sirius will not come.

Slowly . . . very slowly, because it hurts so much to finally accept what has to be the truth and give up on what has kept me going for the past two months . . . so slowly, I lower my head and my eyes, and no longer watch the sky.

They're not coming back.

Ron is dead. Harry's gone. Sirius has left. A life lies in shards around me . . . but there's no one left to pick up the pieces.

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A/N: All right, I don't know what's gotten into me, but some strange kinds of angst and tragedy seem to be pouring out. Fact is, I hope this writing has touched you guys as much as it touched me to write it. Please review . . .

Luv always, ViXeN