Hollow

Disclaimer: All of this is based upon the lovely J.K. Rowling's work.

Warnings: Death, Angst, etc.


It rained, and the Heavens bled.

There was red everywhere. The ground was coated with it, soaked with it. And with every step, his shoes squished in the tiny, red puddles.

The rain came down in sheets, but it still wasn't enough to wash all the blood away.

And all the hurt and all the pain, the feelings that were his constant companions for so long – how long? – they were gone. Replaced by nothing. Replaced by emptiness.

Blessed emptiness.

He inhaled, breathing in the coppery tang and tasting it with his tongue. He stepped and splashed through another blooded pool, and his glittering eyes gazed around, taking in the carnage.

And all he felt was nothing. Nothing at all. No sadness. No anger. No remorse.

Blessed silence in his heart… or the broken and shattered remains of it.

His black robe dragged the ground as he walked, except the hem was black no longer. No, it was dark, simply dark with dirt and death. The lack of color so profound that black didn't even encompass it any longer.

And he swore to himself that he would never wear the color again. Never.

Not ever.

He was so very hollow inside, but he pretended not to notice. He simply strode through the field, seeing it all, taking it all in. Death. Horror. Blood.

So very much blood.

And his hair was coated with the substance, but in the faint light it appeared black. Black and blooded. And he couldn't help but think that it suited him.

It suited him more than he ever wanted to admit.

He absentmindedly studied one of the bodies near him, seeing the broken and twisted black cross on a red band around the woman's arm. Her hair was blonde, or would be without the filth, and her sightless eyes were a frozen blue.

And blue was the color his eyes were once. But he was afraid that if he looked in the mirror they wouldn't be that anymore.

He was afraid that he would see the monster inside, the very abyss, looking back at him instead.

He shivered not from the sight but from the cold pressing in on him. He exhaled through his mouth, and his breath fogged the air.

His eyes flickered to the Dementors hovering a ways away. Their sightless faces turned toward him, but they trembled back.

And even the soul-hunters feared him now, but what did that say about him? That the things terror feared were afraid of him.

Fear knowing fear. How poetic.

He walked back to the place he had been but moments ago and turned to face his fallen opponent.

The man, monster, to his surprise was still alive, struggling to draw breath. His spidery fingers clawed at his throat, as though he hoped to create a way for more air to reach his dying lungs.

"It is over," the monster whispered to him, his pale face sweaty with the exertion of saying those three words. "So have you come back to gloat." He coughed then, and even more blood appeared.

He shook his head. "No," he answered simply. He looked at the monster for a moment.

And a single emotion, pity, filled the void in his chest. He stared for another second before whipping out his holly wand and saying two words.

Green light hit the monster square in the chest, and he was silent.

And he stared at the body. He stared at death. And with single motion, he snapped his wand and threw the pieces to the ground at the monster's feet.

And he walked away… and returned to his life, to the school, to Hogwarts. And he got a new wand, ash. And he buried the demons away. And he pretended that the battle never happened, that he never broke.

And he was celebrated as a hero, heralded by one and all. And they all thought him wonderful, and they all thought him grand. He had defeated the evil; he had killed the horror.

But he relived it everyday in between breaths, when he could still taste the blood in the air. And he saw it every night in his dreams.

And inside, he was empty because with those two final words he had killed a monster… and the last little bit of himself.

And he was now omniscient and wise and respected and a hero…

And he was just a shell of himself. The twinkle was only a reflection of the candlelight. The smile was facial twitches, remembrances of what he once was. The wisdom was just madness he spouted to fill the void with words, if not emotions.

And no one even noticed. Not anyone. Not his friends. Not his family. Not the world. For they didn't understand; they couldn't understand.

And what they never even realized was that Lord Grindelwald wasn't the only one to be defeated that day.

Albus Dumbledore died, too.


Ever Hopeful,

Azar