Concrete Angel
By
UnperfectWolf
Rated: pg13?
Warnings: character death after character death after character death
Fandom, Pairing: Harry Potter Un. JK Rowling, Hermione centric
Summary: "Every time someone came to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade, they saw her. Every time someone looked out of the cemetery, looked out the front door of Hogwarts, or swam in the lake, they saw her."
Disclaimer:
not mine, never was mine, never will be mine. all is jk rowling's.
Written For: Michael Adams, killed in the line of duty in Iraq on March 16, 2004. To all the rest who have perished for someone's apparent freedom.
Based Off: Concrete Angel by Martina McBride
Word Count: 1,463
AN: was deleted and now is back!

CONCRETE ANGEL

The war was over, but not without its casualties. It was a hard, unfeeling day when they realized they had won. It was gray, the sky seemingly weeping for those lost in the war. How many could die, and how many could suffer from this war?

Many, it seemed.

The suffering was not new. It had started long before the war ended, and maybe for some, death was the end of a hard life, a life that could have never actually been happy.

In the end, many could not look at the list of the fallen. They hung the list in Hogwart's entry way, the names gold against the black stone they were placed upon. It would hang there for those who survived to remember, and for those who were to come to learn from. To learn the price that came from evil.

There were many, many names on the list. Many of them were names of children, people who would never graduate, children who would never grow up to show the world what they could do. Harry Potter was not upon that list. He had lived through the final battle. In fact, he had fared far better than some.

It had started at the end of sixth year. Instead of returning to the muggle world, both Harry and Hermione had gone straight to the Burrow. Hermione no longer had a choice. Her parents had been killing in a Death Eater attack that school year. Harry, it seemed, was done with his muggle aunt and uncle, done with the horrible summers locked away.

Over that summer they had fought Death Eaters several times. Their last school year was no better. They had fought every day to survive, whether because they were attacked or to keep up with the school work and the work they did for the Order. It seemed that everyone needed Harry, Hermione and Ron, and everyone needed them now.

No one took too close of a look at them. They were teenagers, and they were able to cope with most anything. No one thought to see how much they ate, or how much they slept.

No one thought to see if they would survive until the final battle.

The winter Holidays came and went with little confrontation from the Death Eaters. Draco Malfoy tossed in his normal Christmas Threat, one to which Hermione was the recipient of this year.

She laughed in his face, her weary eyes telling him all he needed to know. He didn't make another threat against her.

When the war was over, he would tell the others what he saw in those eyes. He would be the only one to see it and recognize it for what it was then, not long after she was gone, the only one to see that she was slowly killing herself off by helping others. He would be the only one to see the ghosts that Hermione Granger carried around with her, the haunted look she had in her eyes.

It was easy enough, they all realized when they looked back, to over look the little things in favor of the big picture. It was easy enough to ignore the purple half moons under her eyes, and the sunken look of her cheeks.

Easy enough, that is, until they came upon her body after the war was done.

It was dawn when they did. Her body was lying on top of the hill where the final battle had been. She was lying there, in puddle. It was as if she had just crumpled, falling to the ground. Her eyes were open, staring lifelessly at the gray sky. Her hands were clenched in pain, clutching the grass beside her. Her body was broken looking, but upon closer inspection it was realized it had already been broken before the battle had started. She was withered and skinny, her body ravaged by maltreatment. Hermione Granger's demise had started long before the battle.

The story of her death would take weeks to put together, and no one would ever truly know the whole of it. It was more a recollection of several people, pieces of a puzzle you had no guide for.

She had been with Harry until almost the end. She had disappeared then, and someone said she'd reappeared on the far side of the hill. They would later find out she had been what had distracted Voldemort for those fatal seconds, the ones in which Harry threw his Killing Curse. She had deistracted him, and given her life for those few seconds.

Many others fell. Many others were laid to rest in the cemetery for those who died in the war, the cemetery located at the edge of the Forbidden Forrest, on Hogwarts grounds. She would be the last to be laid to rest, in the middle of the cemetery, in a plain grave with a plain white head stone like all the rest of those around the graves around her's.

The hill she had died upon was located in the middle of the common grounds that stretched from the Forbidden Forrest, around the lake and up to the castle itself. It was behind this hill the cemetery began. It was on this hill they put up a statue of a young angel girl, one who bore a striking resemblance the Hermione Granger. It was her name that was placed upon the engraving, 'Hermione Granger, she gave her life for us'.

It was controversial, her name being on the statue. None would say she didn't deserve it, but several would wonder if there wasn't someone who deserved it more. Those who said such things learned to do them out of the presence of anyone who had known her, and many of those who knew of her. It seemed, when the war was all over with, no one was her enemy. Even Draco Malfoy was once seen to defend her name to another wizard.

Eventually, no one would question it.

In the years that would pass, several versions of her life story would circulate through Hogwarts. When the rumors would get to out of control, it was always Professor Snape, who walked with a limp since the War, who laid them to rest.

She became a patron goddess to the girls of Hogwarts, as time wore on. She would symbolize good every time evil tried to rise up in the world. When they had problems, many girls would wander out to see her, sitting below the concrete statue and talking about their problems. As the years would pass by, it seemed they forgot that she was just a girl like them once, that she had never grown up. That she had died before she'd been able to take the test she'd spent almost seven years preparing for.

Eventually the name Harry Potter would loose it's importance for all but the children. He would become a bedtime story, a White Knight, someone who could never exist, a Prince Charming if you will. The names Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Minevera McGonagall, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Alastor Moody… They would all be forgotten, banished to play the supporting roles in a fairy tale you told children about the evil 'that used to be'. They would become characters, ceasing to be real. Even those who's ancestors had known them well, those who heard the most truthful of all the stories, would forget that they had once lived and fought a terrible evil, that they had been real witches and wizards like those they lived with.

Hermione Granger was real, though. She never ceased to be so. They couldn't forget her. Every time someone came to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade, they saw her. Every time someone looked out of the cemetery, looked out the front door of Hogwarts, or swam in the lake, they saw her.

After a few years, once the ache had settled in for the wizarding world, no one ever went to visit Ginny or Ron's grave, no one ever went to visit the old Transfiguration teacher's grave. No one could venture farther than the first few graves. It was too hard to remember, to hard to see the names of the children who never grew up, the witches and wizards who never got to live the rest of their life.

Instead they left the flowers they brought at the base of the statue.

Deep in the cemetery a gravestone lay, no name upon it. Hermione would never be forgotten, simply because her grave was never marked.

She was remembered where she fell, not where she lay.

Somehow, when he went to lay his flowers for her and all the others that they lost one-hundred years after that final battle, Harry Potter thought she'd like that.

Finished 23 February 2005.