Notes: I wrote this late at night while listening to Eva Cassidy's cover of Fields of Gold.  I like it better than the original Sting version; it's very moving and emotional.  It let me toward an angsty death!fic. I also listened to "Margery Dreams of Horses" by The Counting Crows, which is where the summary comes from.  I never thought I'd do another H/L fic, but here we are.  Sorry it's so short. Feedback is appreciated.

In the Days Still Left

       His footsteps, broken by weariness, carried him over the summer grasses.  The others came a dozen paces back, too frightened to get close but too determined to fall behind.  The battered train stretched out behind him, four and twenty wizards strong.  The last of all of Dumbledore's students they walked, weeping and terrified and more powerful than any sorcerers in 900 years.  They followed their leader up the hillside.  They marched as best survivors can, to the plateau of the last to die.  Their parents, their teachers, their countrymen lie there, peppering hill beside the their brothers and sisters lost to the darkness.

        Their leader didn't ask for the others to walk beside him, and his entourage did not offer.  The spark still danced over his shoulders and crackled on his fingers, and perhaps it always would now.  Cursed and blessed these wizards were (never again could they be called children), he the worst of all.  Power whispered in their footsteps, and memories plagued minds, and still they walked.  Still they followed him, and with each feeling of shoe striking ground he remembered.

        You're Harry Potter.
        I believe you.
        They always come back in the end.
        Do you ever sing, Harry Potter?
        Sometimes I talk and they stare at me but they don't hear. You hear.
        I was six. I broke 32 bones and nearly died, but Harry, I flew.
        Young, maybe, but old enough.
        Who cares what about other people?  I care about you.
        I won't let you die, because I have the will of a thousand giants.  My mother told me that once.
        If you care anything for me, raise your head and lie to my face.
        She said the red door will change everything about you, and I believe her.
        Do you still think of yourself as a child? I do... but I also know I'm wrong.
        This will work,  I swear it on Hermione's grave.
        I picked you because you were different; why did you pick me?

       "Because you were different too," he whispered breathlessly, as he topped the ridge and gazed on ranks of the fallen.  So many they stretched, hair strewn and fingers splayed, backs broken and skin melting.  We'll buy you that time! Lupin had screamed above the maelstrom, a contract that had finished the night it was spoken.  They had bought him and his time indeed.  All the time their souls and bodies were worth.

       His eyes swept the plateau, searching for thing he loved most, and he thought he might have been crying under the dust and lightning of his skin.  I'm coming Luna.  I'm too late, but I'm coming.

       Four and twenty new master wizards guarded the ridge top now, the storm drying up behind them.  This line of men and women had survived the changing of the world, and in the days still left they would pay deeply for it.  Some held hands and some fell to their knees.  Still alone, Harry stepped onto the silent battlefield.

        You were right, Lu.  It worked beautifully.


The End of the Beginning.