A/N: It's been a while since this one has been updated. But I hope to have all my WIP's updated within the next couple of weeks. A special hug and "thank you" to all of my readers and reviewers!
The Art of Letting Go
Chapter Two: Here Comes the Grimm Reaper
As she and Snape apparated in front of Twelve Grimmauld Place, Hermione couldn't help but think that there was much more to the situation than the Potions Master was letting on. He seemed grimmer than usual, if that were possible. And she'd been in grave danger for quite some time, yet the Order had never brought her to Headquarters in such a way before.
She stepped forward to enter the house, but hesitated upon realizing that Snape wasn't coming with her. "Sir?" she questioned, turning to look at the dark wizard behind her.
He frowned with- was that sympathy? "This is something you have to face alone, Ms. Granger." He disapparated and Hermione felt a deep chill in the pit of her stomach.
She didn't understand what was going on. She didn't want to enter Headquarters. Why couldn't he go with me? Why wouldn't he? She didn't want to face this when Snape himself was too afraid to! But nonetheless, she pushed the large wooden door open and stepped inside the house.
An eerie silence washed over her. Where was everyone? She moved forward, striding towards the kitchen, where everyone seemed to flock at most points. The sight that filled her view upon her entrance of that room spiked her dread to the breaking point. Arthur Weasley held his shaking wife, tears tracking down both their faces. Ginny knelt beside her brother Ron as the held onto each other for dear life. "What happened?" she asked the silent foursome, who looked as if someone had just died. 'Which someone probably did,' her mind supplied her.
Arthur looked up at her with an expression of heartbreaking grief and pity. "Maybe you should sit down, dear," her told her gently.
"I'm fine. Please- just tell me what's going on!" she cried.
"It's Harry." No- please God, tell me it's not- "He killed himself this evening."
It was. One of her two best friends was dead. "No. No. NO! Please, tell me this is a joke!"
"'Mione," Ron whispered from his place in his sister's arms. "It's true."
Her legs gave out from beneath her and she tumbled to the floor sobbing. "No.No.No." she said in some sort of chant. 'Yes.Yes.Yes.' her traitorous mind replied.
"'Mione, you're going to be okay," Ginny soothed, pulling the distraught girl over to the siblings. Thus Hermione found herself in a three way embrace with her best friend and her only girl friend. "We're all going to be okay. We're going to be fine. You'll see."
Hermione was glad for her friend's constant speech, for her comforting words. Because she wasn't sure how she would have stayed grounded without them.
Severus Snape stalked up to the door of a small woodland cottage, owned by the grandmother of none other than Neville, Let's Blow Up Some Cauldrons, Longbottom. Once again he was to play the bloody Grimm Reaper, wearing his muggle clothes and not his usual scowl, leading Albus's poor lambs to the death bed of The-Boy-Who-Was-Supposed-To-Live.
Before he was given the chance to knock, the door opened, and there Longbottom was, as confused and terrified as ever. "Pr-professor?"
"Yes," he replied as his scowl deepened. "It is I. Pack your things. You will not be staying here this summer, I will be transporting you to a safe house."
"That will be explained in time. Now, go! I have one more stop to make after you and we must get going!" Wordlessly, the boy complied. Severus let out a soft sigh. This was going to be a long day.
With Longbottom in tow, Severus got the last member of Potter's merry men, Luna Lovegood. Dumbledore had come under the suspicion that the five who'd followed Potter to the Ministry would be some of the Dark Lord's first targets, or at the very least some of his targets, and bid Severus to collect them. Dumbledore himself was in the not-so-envious position of having to inform the rest of the Order and the incompetent witches and wizards who fashioned themselves the Ministry of Magic. Yes, given the option, Severus would much rather complete his own task.
It had been two days. Two days since one of his best friends had left him. Two days since he'd lost the strength to smile. Two days since he had to explain to Luna and Neville that Harry was, in fact, dead. Two days.
Funeral arrangements had already begun, though Rom took no part in them. He didn't want to choose what his friend would be wearing when he entered in the ground- what he would sleep in for all of eternity. And nobody forced him to make such choices.
Fred and George had offered to pay for the memorial, and told their parents not to spare any expense. As Harry had not spared any when he decided to back up their shop.
Despite the fullness of the house, and despite the fact that he wasn't, Ron felt alone. He felt guilty, as if it were he who'd slit the wrists of his friend and not the friend himself.
He'd always been slightly jealous of Harry. There were few guys who weren't. Harry had had the kind of life that little boys dream of having. The life of a worshipped hero. Ron knew that his friend hadn't had a perfect life, and felt for the boy who'd been forced to be a hero. Yet, at the same time he'd always wanted to be him too.
Now he knew better. Whilst Ron had his family to lean on, who did Harry have? His godfather? Sirius was dead! Dumbledore? No, the man had hurt Harry too much for that trust. Ron's own parents? He barely saw them a month of every year!
Ron had just never realized that while he envied Harry... That Harry might have envied him also. Now he really couldn't doubt it.
"Ron?" A voice called from the doorway of his bedroom.
"Can I come in?"
"Sure." Ron moved over to allow his friend to sit on the bed also.
"I really miss him." She confessed as she sat down beside him. "And I wonder- can't help but wonder if this was my fault..."
"Yea. Me too." For a long time the pair sat in silence. There wasn't really anything more to say now. Harry was dead. Words couldn't bring him back.
A/N:Sniffle Sniffle: I actually almost cried while writing this chapter. Hermione was actually the toughest to write in such a depressed state. I tried to make her a little more not-in-control than I did the others, simply because she's almost always in control. Ron was easier to write, as strange as that may be (before this story I'd never written Ron).
But anyways, I hope you enjoyed!
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