Title: Fragments
Author: CJK (lena@warpedcore.net)
Disclaimer: All characters belong to JKR.
Rating: G, character death


Neville doesn't attend the memorial service, and nobody expects him to. He cleans the kitchen, waters the flowers, picks a few yellowing leaves here and there, and makes himself a cheese and pickle sandwich. Once he smiles, quickly, triumphantly, then looks over his shoulder in familiar alarmed anticipation.

*

Dumbledore's beard is damp with tears, and his eyes are red. He remembers the boy young, huge nose prominent in the sallow face. He remembers the man, scarred and broken; using viciousness because all else had failed. He remembers the highly informative and comprehensive reports, so eager to please. The boy held him as a father, he knows, and he cries for a lost son. His head lowers as the chants begin and he thinks about the implication on the war effort now that his best spy is dead. He won't find anyone else of that calibre again. Even with dozens of his children gathered around him he feels weak.

*

Harry is annoyed, he never meant to be here, but Dumbledore insisted. He isn't a student any more, and he barely listens to the old man anyway, but with him looking so old and frail, Harry'd felt embarrassed about arguing. The weather is clear and crisp, and he longs to be on his broom, high up. As a child he'd always thought the sky was something you could touch if you reached up far enough. For a moment he feels fierce, blazing satisfaction, like scratching an itch till blood wells up. The greasy bastard deserves it, he thinks, and then feels faintly ashamed at not being ashamed to think it.

*

Minerva longs to be cat, small enough to slip out of the hall unnoticed. The chants grate on her nerves, and so do the faces around her. She will not cry for the man, and she will let Albus cry for the tool. Last night she had looked through that yearbook, felt her heart tighten as Black, Potter and Evans waved to her from the pictures. It was her lips that tightened at Pettigrew's uncertain smile. When she reached the snakelets, the dark-haired boy glared at her and walked out of the photograph.

*

Hermione is last to pass the grave. The wind picks up and pulls at her cloak. She feels numb, floating. It's strange to think that she'll never see the swishing black robes again, that nobody will hiss at her over the cauldron's steam. Death is a wasteful thing, she always thought. One moment somebody is alive, walking, spitting mad, feeling, and a breath later it's just a mass of decaying cells. The white camellia makes no sound as it lands on the fresh dark earth.