Someday Sunny Skies
by the Almighty Cheez It
Words this Chapter: 2,112
Someday Sunny Skies
Not a word was spoken. There was nothing to be said. Nobody could possibly fathom what to say. The situation was finally understood in their minds and they all felt incredibly helpless.
The Death Eaters stood, confused, about what to do. Going completely against the prophecy, goody-two-shoes Granger had just murdered their master, the most powerful man to ever walk in their lives. Yet they stood, numb and rooted to the spot, with no idea about how to react. They were frozen and clueless. Without Voldemort's orders, they had no dirty work to do. They had nobody to kill, nothing to avenge. They were, for the first time they had ever known, independent. They looked on at the scene, finally comprehending the whole situation, and were clueless as to what to do.
The Light Side, however, looked on with compassion etched into their features. They knew what true pain was like, and they understand that killing Voldemort was probably the hardest thing Hermione had ever done.
The girl herself was huddled on the floor, head locked in her arms, crying. She felt someone wrap their arms around her and, not even caring who the person was, she hugged them with all of her strength.
This was too much for her. Losing Ron had been terrible, especially when she was thrown into the past mere minutes afterward. Losing Tom, on the other hand, was beyond horrific. It was as though she had lost a part of herself. She truly knew what it must have felt like for him when she left him fifty years previous.
"Shh," said the voice that belonged to the arms around her. She instantly recognized it as Harry's. She leaned into him, completely entangled with him.
"He's gone," she whispered in the midst of her tears. "He's gone. He's not coming back! I lost him…"
And her words were as literal as they could be, for the oddest thing was happening. Voldemort's dead body was flashing, not in colors, but as though he was some sort of hologram. Apparently this revelation caught not only her attention, but that of the rest of the room as well. Eyes darted to the scene, the image before them so extraordinary and unheard of.
"He's disappearing!" one Death Eater yelled in a panic.
Hermione felt an odd sense of déjà vu, and rightly so, because this exact same event happened with Harry during his last few moments in the past. However, she assured herself that Voldemort was not disappearing into another time; no, it must be because of his immortality. Maybe people who used Horcruxes didn't get to keep their body after death?
The process was slow and almost unprogressive. Hermione's eyes were fixated on the body before her, for even though it was the 50-something-year-old version of her lover at her heels, she could still see the silhouette of the one she had come to know so well.
The flashing colorlessness of his body frightened her. She couldn't look away; his picture was too mesmerizing. She wanted desperately for the flashing to stop, but she wasn't sure if that would be a good thing or a bad one.
Her thumbs, along with more than one other part of her body, fidgeted in anxiety. She tried to occupy them by sticking them into her skirt pocket, when suddenly a thought struck her as they felt something small, hard, and book-like.
Olde Magick of the Darkest Times.
Professor Dumbledore, her only true guide and mentor throughout her escapade in the past, had so urgently expressed his desire for her to find this book. Without knowing why, she suddenly felt obligated to leave Voldemort's motionless, flashing corpse and retrieve the book as Dumbledore so wished.
However, one glance back at Voldemort almost made her change her mind. Sure, this version of Tom was vile, cruel, and disturbing – but he was still some form of Tom Marvolo Riddle, and because of that, she could not bring herself to hate him.
"It will become very handy later in your life," he replied cryptically.
Dumbledore always knew what he was talking about. Whether or not Hermione knew the event where she would need this book was irrelevant. It would dishonor Dumbledore's memory if she went against a critical wish of his.
Hermione knew she would have to leave Voldemort's body – once and for all. She leant down next to it, and just stared at him through her hollow eyes. Those eyes had seen death, war, and pain, but nothing like the immense heartbreak that they saw at that moment. Because looking down at the man whose body she was hugging, she realized that nothing was more breathtaking than that.
She leaned in and kissed his cold, dead lips in a short but fiery kiss. Slowly but surely, she rose, never once removing her eyes from his lifeless ones as she exited the room backwardly.
His image haunted her mind the entire walk to Dumbledore's old office. She could see every centimeter of his face, every small, carved detail. Tears poured from her eyes, as they had done so many times before, from millions of different emotions.
She had left the past to be rid of Tom, but now that she was here, where there was nothing for her, she only wanted to be with him. She was not prepared to murder his future self, and yet, she did. She would never be able to live with herself, knowing that even though she had done the wizarding world a load of good, she had just killed a part of herself.
She was also struck by a pit of confusion; she had defied Harry Potter's – or Sybil Trelawney's, if you wanted to look at it that way – prophecy. She was not Harry, yet she had just killed the man that he was destined to kill.
Either way, she was an extreme wreck by the time she landed in front of the gargoyles. She vaguely remembered Dumbledore mentioning that their names were Randy and Albert or something similar. She tried to laugh at his utter silliness, but she could not find the strength.
"Look, it's a lass!" the one on the right exclaimed unenthusiastically as he noticed Hermione.
This startled the other one, who looked at her in confusion and mumbled, "Sir Dumbledore hasn't been her in awhile, missy."
"I – I know," Hermione stumbled upon her words, at hearing Dumbledore's name spoken out loud. How could she have left him again? She missed him dearly. "Err, I need to get inside."
Suddenly the gargoyles got stern. "I'm sorry, lass. We never betray Dumbledore. Nobody may enter this office without the password."
Hermione looked them straight in the eyes, and said stiffly, "Under immediate and dire circumstances, I demand entrance to this office."
The eyes of the gargoyles bulged in amazement, but nonetheless, they let her inside. One of them called out behind her, as she entered, "Sir Dumbledore must really have confidence in you, missy. He only told one person about that phrase."
The door shut immediately after these words, and Hermione turned around to face the wall, in shock. Dumbledore only told her about that alternate password? Tears almost soaked her face again, but she seemed to be numb, for there were no more tears to shed.
I guess I've got to find this book, she thought gloomily, realizing that her depression would never end. She seemed to be condemned to pain.
Hermione turned toward the cabinet that held the Pensieve. Dumbledore had told her that the book was hidden above the Pensieve, on the shelf inside the cabinet. She hoped that once she opened it, she wouldn't accidentally fall in.
She pulled out her wand to undo the lock on the cabinet's doors. "Alohamora!" she said, the spell feeling oddly homey to her. She heard a large CLICK and the cabinet opened.
Her eyes fell immediately onto the Pensieve, where she was sure she could find some of Dumbledore's more gruesome memories. Oddly enough, she was sure she could find herself in more than a few of them.
Tearing her eyes away from the pot of memories, she looked above and found four books stacked neatly on a shelf. Not even bothering to wonder what the other three were about, she reached out to grab Olde Magick of the Darkest Times.
Hermione instantly backed away from the entire cabinet once she had her book in hand. She relocked the doors, hoping that nobody else would ever discover these private stores that belonged to her truest mentor.
As soon as she turned the corner, Hermione knew that she would never again meet with those gargoyles. Randy and Albert, she remembered. She didn't bother saying goodbye, because farewells depressed her.
As she turned onto a hallway that she knew so well but felt so foreign, she crashed into none other than Harry Potter.
"Is everyone alright?" she asked not a second later.
Harry nodded, a darkness floating in his eyes. "The Death Eaters have been either killed or 'disposed of' by the Order members, and all the students are in the Great Hall with the teachers."
"What about…the bodies?"
Harry knew she was referring to Ron. "They've been lined up with Hagrid, they're going to be buried this Sunday."
"Oh," was all she could say before she burst into tears. "Harry…"
"Hermione," he whispered, grabbing her and pulling her into a comforting hug. He didn't have to say anything, and neither did she, for both of them to understand.
"I'm a murderer!" she screeched, despair laced in her voice. "I killed Bellatrix, and then, hell, Harry, I KILLED VOLDEMORT! I killed the man I was in love with!"
"No, you didn't," Harry said soothingly, "you killed the man that he became."
This silenced her for a moment, before she countered back with, "Yes, but either way, I killed."
"Hermione," Harry said softly, looking at her with his pain-filled eyes, "Sacrifice wouldn't be sacrificial if it were easy. You did something for the good of everybody else, and somehow, you're going to be rewarded for that."
"You never were," she whispered, looking up at him. "You've done more than all of the wizards on this earth combined, and you never got your reward."
"I did," he argued, wiping her tears away. "I got you, and Ron. I got two of the best people in the entire universe as my two best friends. And that," he finished with a ghost of a smile, "is enough for everything."
Hermione let out another sob and, truly touched by what he said, pulled him tighter against her, never wanting to let go of her best friend.
"I miss him, Harry," Hermione said after a comfortable silence. They both knew that she wasn't talking about Ron. "I wish I hadn't left him…I wish…why couldn't I have done more? I could have made things different for you!"
"No," Harry reprimanded. "You tried. You tried your hardest to make him into someone new. And in the end, destiny did its job, and he made his choices to become what he is. It is never going to be your fault."
Hermione and Harry sprung apart, both recognizing that voice. Behind them stood Tom Marvolo Riddle, looking just as Hermione had left him.
There were no words that could emerge from Hermione's mouth, so Tom decided to take action and speak.
"When you killed me, I disappeared for exactly one hour. My body, I mean. Then I reappeared in the spot of the killing," he explained.
"See, when a person uses Horcruxes, things are different when they die. If it's from a natural cause, like old age, or disease, they are dead like any person that had never used Horcruxes. However, if the situation was from murder, the victim disappears for approximately one hour before returning, at the age of when they made their first Horcrux."
"So that means you're in your early twenties?" Harry breathed.
"Yes, I'm twenty-one," Tom replied, staring straight at Hermione.
Harry caught this and said, "Well, I'll just go to the Great Hall with everybody else and let them know you're all right, Hermione."
She could only nod, for her heart was thumping at seeing Tom again.
She squealed, no longer able to hold it in anymore, and jumped into his arms. He smiled, and they shared a kiss so unlike any of their others. There was more love, passion, and fire than ever.
"I love you, Hermione," Tom said, and he had never spoken a truer line in his life.
And finally, Hermione could tell that she would be seeing sunny skies again.
THIS IS THE END!
Wow, this took forever!
See, I'm at home right now instead of at school because of this wildfire blowing ashes and smoke and stuff everywhere, so I figured that since I've got nothing better to do, I'd write. And now, THIS STORY IS OVER!
I really, REALLY, hope you liked it! Review?
Love, Cheez It