Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine. Neither is the song I used.

I first found the song 'Heaven is a Place Nearby' in a fic by the same name here on FFN. I give that author (don't remember your name, too lazy to go look right now) the credit for the idea of putting that song into a fic with character death. That song and idea stuck in my head, and I got this.

Please don't kill me. If you must kill something after reading this, kill my muse. It made me write this.


"He's asking for you."

"I know. How is He?"

"Honestly? He seems alright but...you know as well as I do that it could be ten minutes or ten days. He's so far gone...it's a miracle that He even recognizes you. He sees me every day and..." /sob/

"Lemon Drop?"


"He wouldn't want you to cry, Poppy. After all, death is but the next great adventure."

/small smile/

"That's better. I'll go see Him now."

I entered the room
Sat by your bed all through the night

"Harry, my boy, good to see you again."

/smile/ "Hello, Albus."

"So, how are you doing?"

"Pretty well. And you?"

"I've been doing quite well myself.

Outside the room, Poppy watches and listens to the two men talk. Only when they were alone would He seem to come back to Himself, so she couldn't join them. Though with time running out, she wished she could have one last chance to have Him recognize her so that she could say goodbye.

"Honestly, I don't understand why I can't leave the infirmary. I'm perfectly fine." /yawn/

"I know. I think you should sleep now, you seem tired. Maybe you will be allowed to go when you wake up." /stands to leave/

/grabs his hand/ "Could you stay here? I'd like to continue talking to you when I wake up, and I don't plan on sleeping that long."

"I'll stay right here, I won't move unless absolutely necessary." /smiling through the lie/

I watched your daily fight
I hardly knew
The pain was almost more than I could bear

It was obvious that, even if He didn't realize it, He didn't want to go. He kept hanging on, fighting to stay. Everyone knew it wouldn't be long now. He couldn't keep death at bay forever, no matter how powerful He was.

It was the hardest thing they had ever had to go through since Voldemort's defeat fifty years ago.

And still I hear
Your last words to me.

"Oh, one last thing, before my dreams take me away. There's a song, it's called 'Heaven is a Place Nearby'. Whoever wrote it had the right idea."

"What do you mean?"

"Listen to it some time. Here's a bit of the song for you to give you an idea. Heaven is a place nearby, So I won't be so far away. And if you try and look for me, Maybe you'll find me someday. Heaven is a place nearby, So there's no need to say goodbye, I wanna ask you not to cry, I'll always be by your side."

With that, He fell asleep.

You just faded away
You spread your wings you had flown
Away to something unknown

It was amazing, Poppy thought, how this man could always act as though he wasn't visiting a dying man. No one else had been able to do it, that's why they all stopped coming.

This man never did. This man came by at least once a day when he got the chance. This man had been there the entire time.

When they realized there was a problem with Him.

When they found out it was Alzheimer's.

When they found that there was no way, muggle or magical that could stop the decline.

When they realized that everything else that had happened in His life caused it to progress more rapidly than it normally would.

This man watched with her as He gradually faded away, forgetting people and places, going back in time in His mind while everyone else moved forward.

This man was the one who told her, when He could no longer remember anyone else, that He wasn't truly there anymore. Yes, His body was there, as were some of His memories, but He had gone away to some other place.

Wish I could bring you back.
You're always on my mind
About to tear myself apart.
You have your special place in my heart.

I sit there and watch Him sleep.

No matter what I say, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I've watched Him leave everyone else behind Him, forgetting. As Poppy said, it's a miracle He remembers me at all at this point. Somehow He can drag Himself back to talk to me, but no one else. I wish there were some way to bring Him back and let Him talk to the others one last time before the end.

This is what I think about constantly, and it tears my heart apart. To see Him like this...

It's a horrible way to go.

And yet it will be His end.

He deserves better than this.

But it is not ours to decide the end.

Always heaven is a place nearby
So I won't be so far away.
And if you try and look for me
Maybe you'll find me someday.
Heaven is a place nearby
So there's no need to say goodbye
I wanna ask you not to cry
I'll always be by your side.

Poppy walks into the room.

"I just get this feeling..."

"I know. That's why I promised to stay here with Him. If He wakes or not, I will have stayed while He slept. When He wakes or passes on, I will be here."

"You should get some sleep too, you know."

"Not yet. Not until..."

"Alright, but you best go straight to bed afterwards."

"Don't worry, Poppy, I will."

We sit there and watch Him. Sometime near midnight it finally happens, and Poppy pulls the sheet over His head.

"That's it, then."

"Yeah. The Wizarding World has just lost a great man."

"Yes..." /crying/

"Oh, Poppy, you knew it had to happen eventually. Nobody is immortal."

"I know, but, like this?"

"At least He was asleep. He felt no pain. He is whole again, wherever He is."

"True. Now, we should go. I'll inform the Ministry tomorrow morning. You need to get to sleep."

"Yes, Poppy."

He follows her to the door, looking at Him one last time before closing the door behind himself.

"You're at the next great adventure, Albus. I'll meet you there someday. I just hope there are enough Lemon Drops there for you."

Harry Potter, now Headmaster of Hogwarts, then closed the door behind him and went to his chambers to get some sleep and figure out how he was going to tell the school the news in the morning.

And even when I go to sleep
I still can hear your voice
And those words
I never will forget

Heaven is a place nearby
So I won't be so far away.
And if you try and look for me
Maybe you'll find me someday.
Heaven is a place nearby
So there's no need to say goodbye
I wanna ask you not to cry
I'll always be by your side.


Some things I should say here to clear up some questions you may have:

Voldie was defeated at the end of Harry's seventh year

Minerva was killed in the final battle, which is why Harry is the next Headmaster

Harry has been teaching DADA since the battle, along with being Gryffindor Head and Deputy Headmaster

I repeat-please don't kill me for this. It hurt me enough to just write a fic where he died, especially from that.

Dealing with a relative/close friend with Alzheimer's is something I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. It is the hardest thing in the world to watch their mind go like that. As far as I know, a person with Alzheimer's cannot do as I had Albus do, and remember things with only one person and no one else. They remember the people they see the most, and even then they will eventually forget. I should know, my grandmother has Alzheimer's. Though she isn't so far gone as to die yet, she is far enough away that the times where she actually remembers are extremely far apart, if they still happen at all.

I truly believe something I placed in this fic-when they no longer remember who anyone is and are living in the past in their mind, it isn't them anymore. They have moved on to a better place, and their body forgot to go with them.

EDIT 8/15/09
Memere somehow did manage to, for a long time, recognize my mother, even though she didn't remember the rest of us. The most we got was that she knew who we were in relation to Mom, which was enough for me.
She died 7/23/09.
Rest in peace, Memere. Say 'Hi' to everyone up there, and we'll see you again when our time comes.

Reviews are welcome