Wizard's Chess

Songfic to Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.: They each woke up remembering who they had lost... and each cured it in the only way they knew how to.

Disclaimer: I don't own Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,

When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on

Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Harry tossed. Harry turned. Ruffling up his hair, he sat up straight in bed, being haunted by another one of those chilling nightmares, reliving every horrible death that has ever occured in his life... from the beginning to the most recent. Taking a deep shuddering breath, he walked downstairs to the Gryffindor commonroom, bumping into Seamus' bed by accident on the way out.

Don't let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.

Hermione woke up crying again, the feeling of newly shed tears on her cheek. When she looked at her pillow, she saw it was practically drenched. Why did this happen every night? Every night, since...

She could make it stop. There had to be a way. There had to be something to stop the pain that was overwhelming her happiness. It was as if she recieved the Dementor's Kiss; she was a broken shell to the world and she felt as if she'd never be happy again.

Hermione woke up crying again, the feeling of newly shed tears on her cheek. When she looked at her pillow, she saw it was practically drenched. Why did this happen every night? Every night, since...

She could make it stop. There had to be a way. There had to be something to stop the pain that was overwhelming her happiness. It was as if she recieved the Dementor's Kiss; she was a broken shell to the world and she felt as if she'd never be happy again.

Why Ron? She asked herself. Why him, of all people? In her opinion, he did nothing to deserve death. Nothing to deserve the fate that he recieved. He was one who deserved to die peaceful, happy...surrounded by friends. Not surrounded by Deatheaters.

Why not me? she wondered as well. We were two feet away. Why not me? She would rather be dead then feel the loneliness she felt in her heart. Just when she was about to go back to sleep, she heard some noise in the commonroom. Curious, she got up and wiped her eyes, then proceeded to open her door, whispering "Who's out there?"

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.

When your day is night alone (hold on, hold on)

Harry sat in his usual couch by the fire, throwing papers from the ground to churn the flames. He stared into it and tried to let his mind escape, but there was no point. His best friend was gone. He was sitting at the exact couch, by the exact table where he and Ron would play their neverending games of wizard's chess. But now that was impossible. His best mate was gone.

Honestly, Ron was his first friend in eleven years. Before he had gone to Hogwart's, he was surrounded by the Dursleys, which was not a happy expirience. NO one loved him or asked him how he felt. No one hugged him or asked him what was wrong. No one offered to play a game to get his mind off...everything. No one, that is, except Ron.

When he had met Ron at the barrier of platform 9 3/4, he wasn't sure about him. He came from this big family, had a loving mother and an adorable little sister along with two older brothers. The kid had loads of family who most likely adored him. Why'd he need some kid with a scar? But no. Ron welcomed him as if they had been friends forever. And, in truth, it felt like they had been.

They only grew closer over the years. Even when they got in little tifts about dumb things, they always seemed to come out stronger then they were before. Nothing could break their brotherhood. No crushes, no rivalries, not even jealousy... nothing. Nothing but death, that is.

Harry heard a noise behind him coming from the girls stairs and turned around.

If you feel like letting go (hold on)

When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

Hermione squinted in the darkness, trying to see who it was there. The person didn't answer for a very long while, so Hermione kept quiet, too. Whoever it was probably needed time to think, so she sat down on one of the final stairs. She tried to put her mind on something else, but it wouldn't work. Her best friend was gone.

From the moment she met him and all of his red-haired, dirty-nosed, spellopane-tape-wanded glory, she knew she would love him. She knew they would have an enjoyable 7 years at school, they would then move on and stay friends...always keeping in touch through owls and such. It was her dream. They had gotten so far, too... but not far enough. 6th year ended early, and not with the bang she thought it would.

Ron was with them. They were almost ready to leave... almost ready to stop fighting. They were in the middle of the Forbidden Forest, and none of the teachers even knew they were there. Voldemort had been watching them... and then they attacked. Loads of them. They attracted the attention of Dumbledore, and he came just in time to save Harry from being killed. Too late for Ron.

"Wizard's chess," she whispered, repeating his last words. Even now it did seem ridiculous to choose that as his last words.

Everbody hurts. Take comfort in your friends.

Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand, oh no, don't throw your hand.

If you feel like you're alone, no no no, you're not alone.

Harry gasped slightly and turned around. "Herms?" He saw the figure get up and walk towards him slowly, sitting across from him; the wizard's chess board between them. She stared at the pieces and he felt his heart break. Why didn't he ever try to comfort her? Sure, Ron was his best mate... but he was Hermione's, too. They were the winsome threesome. The trio. Harry, Ron, Hermione.

"Hermione..."

She shook her head and let a tear fall down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and looked back at the pieces. "Wanna play?" she whispered, sounding somewhat defeated.

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,

when you think you've had too much of this life to hang on...

And so they played. They played for Ron, and for themselves, and cried while they did it. Every move, poorly chosen or brilliantly constructed, was in memory of their sly friend. In memory of their red-headed-Weasel. And when "checkmate" was called, they quickly reconstructed the board, playing again. They played until two o'clock in the morning, when their eyes were red, throats were sore, and fingers were tired...

They looked at each other and sighed. Just when Hermione thought she had run out of tears, a new batch arrived, spilling down her face. She pushed the board away and threw herself into Harry's open arms, sobbing as if there were no tomorrow... because for Ron, there was no tomorrow. When she was done crying, they broke apart, still close.

"Don't make me go back upstairs alone," she whispered.

"Don't make me, either," he agreed.

Harry laid down on the couch and Hermione snuggled into him, falling asleep peacefully knowing that when she woke up crying, there would be someone there to wipe away her tears.

Well, everybody hurts sometimes

everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.

And everybody hurts sometimes. So hold on, hold on.

Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on. Hold on, hold on...

Author's Note: That was... new. Lol. Review?