Disclaimer: I do not own 'Harry Potter,' and I don't make a dime off of playing with the characters.
A/N: This is a songfic that my husband wrote a while ago, and I just added to the tragedy. It's full of angsty goodness, (I cried the first and second time I read this,) so whether you like it or not, please leave a review, I love hearing from you guys. (btw, the band is great and the song is fantastic, check them out if you get the opportunity!)
Fine Again - Seether
It seems like
every day's the same and I'm left to discover on my own,
It seems like everything is gray and there's no color to behold.
They say its over and I'm fine again, yeah.
Try to stay sober, feels like I'm dying here.
It has been almost a year since the final battle. It has been six months since he awoke in the long-term care ward of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. It has been two months since he moved into this small studio flat in one of the seedier parts of London.
Harry could certainly afford to stay in much finer accommodations, for the Potter estate that had been held in trust for him was inherited in full on his seventeenth birthday. The value of that estate was massive, certainly enough for him to live very comfortably for the rest of his life. On top of that, the Black estate he had inherited from Sirius easily made him the wealthiest wizard in the magical world.
He had tried living up to his means in the magical world, but there were always those people… unwelcome witches and wizards visiting at all hours, trying to 'thank' him for his sacrifice… to 'thank' him for doing something he barely remembered doing.
His friends also tried to keep him company… tried to help him. He hated having them around, hated to hear their words of encouragement, and hated to see their pitying faces. He did not want their help or their encouragement, and he definitely did not need their pity.
Then there were those blasted reporters sneaking into his home, trying to corner him everywhere he went, trying to get that first, ever elusive interview from 'The-Boy-Who-Kicked-You-Know-Who's-Arse-to-Hell.'
All he wanted was to be left alone, away from the people and the cameras. He wanted to be away from everyone. He figured nobody would ever think to look for him in this dump.
He was quite right. The only person who knew where he lived was his best friend Ron, one of the two friends who stuck by him through thick and thin. Ron was his secret keeper for the Fidelis Charm that was placed on his tiny room, ensuring that nobody would find him.
Therefore, he sat alone in his small flat, with a small bed, a small icebox and a small muggle radio that Hermione had sent him.
Harry was sitting on his bed, watching the trembling left hand that he held up in front of him. During the final battle, Voldemort used an 'improved' form of the Cruciatus Curse. 'Improved' because the pain didn't entirely disappear when it was lifted. If Harry had found him just one day earlier, Voldemort never would have found that curse. Look at the difference just one day made. The curse had torn through his nervous system, effectively short-circuiting it. He lost the use of his right arm, and the rest of his body was in constant pain and prone to sporadic, most times violent shaking fits. They were never very pleasant to watch.
Harry got up from his bed and made his way to the icebox. The 'step-clunk' that sounded as he limped through the room reminded him of old 'Mad-Eye," and his wooden leg. The healers at St. Mungo's had told him they could try to re-grow his leg in a few more months, if the therapy to rejuvenate his nerves was successful. He reached for the icebox door and expected to see the light inside come on as the door opened, but the room remained dark. He had tried to open the door with his wand hand… again.
He looked down to his right arm that hung limp at his side and sighed. Another thing that the St. Mungo's healers said they 'might' be able to fix. Other than his leg, his arm and his fried nervous system, they said he was fine. Well, except for his mutilated face. He still had both eyes, and his nose and mouth were functional… maybe someday he could get a Glamour Charm to make him look less hideous, but vanity just didn't seem that important to him anymore.
He retrieved his nightly set of potions and one by one, drank them down quickly. Most didn't taste too wretched, except for the nerve regeneration potion, which tasted like sour milk mixed with rotten eggs, with a healthy dose of petrol thrown in.
Harry reached for his last bottle of Old Ogden's Firewhiskey, hoping to get the foul taste out of his mouth. He removed the cork with some difficulty, and was about to bring the bottle to his lips when he noticed the dozen or so empty bottles piled in the corner of the room. He replaced the cork, set the bottle down and poured himself a glass of water.
He sat back on his bed and placed the glass on his nightstand. He looked at the floor between his feet and saw the previous day's edition of The Daily Prophet lying there. The headline read "MINISTRY ANNOUNCES HARRY POTTER DAY." The front-page article went on to wonder if the "Savior of the Wizarding World" was going to make an appearance at the following week's festivities. Yes, the wizarding world was turning out just fine with Voldemort gone.
Harry looked down at his grey, withered hand, then to the prosthetic leg. He could feel the lump building in his throat and the wetness starting to creep under his eyelids.
"Yeah," he thought to himself as he stretched out on the bed, "everyone else is just fine."
And I am aware
now how everything's gonna be fine,
one day too late, I'm in hell.
I am prepared now, seems everyone's gonna be fine,
one day too late, just as well.
Ron opened the door to Harry's flat and looked in. He nearly dropped the boxes he was carrying when he saw condition of his best friend that day. He could tell Harry had another bad night. Another really bad night. He quietly set the larger box down next to the door and walked up to his bed. He glanced at his watch, knowing that Harry was late taking his potions. If he didn't take them soon, he'd be much, much worse off. As much as he hated to do it, Ron knew he had to wake him.
Harry awoke to the incessant prodding of a finger into his ribs.
"Oi, Harry, I brought you some breakfast and your weekly supply of… umm… 'groceries.'"
Harry opened one bleary eye and looked upon the cheerful face of his best friend. Well, Ron tried to look cheerful, but Harry had known him way too long to be fooled. He knew Ron was worried about him. He knew all his friends were worried about him. They had a very good reason to be.
Ron gave a short laugh, "You know, if I were to wake you like that a year ago, you would have hexed me into next month." Half of what Ron laughed about was that Harry was asleep on his bed and not on the floor, which is how he usually found him.
"Well, if you were a Death Eater, there's not much I could do now, is there." said Harry darkly, sitting upright on his bed.
Ron's smile faltered for only a moment, but he recovered quickly and changed the subject. "Mum sent this along…" said Ron, holding out the neatly wrapped box full of delicious smelling eggs, bacon, sausage and kippers, "she even threw in a few treacle tarts for afters, your favorite."
Harry opened the box in his lap and stared vacantly into it... He didn't feel hungry. He never felt hungry.
Upon seeing the look on Harry's face, Ron's heart dropped into his stomach. "Harry, mate…" his voice sounded like it was about to crack, "you've got to eat something. You're treating yourself worse than those Dursleys did. You do know you're slowly killing yourself."
Harry let out a bitter laugh, "Vernon always called me a freak… it fits me quite nicely now, don't you think?" His voice became colder and more spiteful as he yelled to the room, "Hurry, hurry! Step right up and see the Great Harry Potter, The Freak Who Lived…"
Ron ignored Harry's theatrics and glared at him, "Harry, you've got to eat, mate. I mean, just look at you… you're just skin and bone."
"I'm fine, Ron," sighed Harry, placing the box next to him on the bed, "I'll have this in a bit, once I wake up proper."
"I brought you your 'groceries,' too," said Ron, indicating the case of firewhiskey sitting by the door. Ron hated bringing the alcohol, but he learned quickly that Harry would do more damage to himself trying to get it on his own. "I know I'm sounding like Hermione, but you really should take it easier on that stuff, I can't imagine it going well with those potions you have to take. By the way, how's the potion supply holding up?"
"I've got enough for a few more weeks." Harry looked down into the box of food on the bed and absently poked a sausage with his finger, "Speaking of Hermione, how is she doing?" Harry tried to sound as casual as possible when asking.
"She's doing ok, I suppose, but I really haven't seen much of her lately. Her job at the Ministry was keeping her busy, until she quit last month."
"Good," said Harry, "Maybe she's finally found a boyfriend."
"I seriously doubt that, mate…" Ron paused, looking as if he were waging an internal war before continuing, "She can't understand why you won't let her see you, and frankly, neither do I." Ron's voice became a bit softer, "You know how she feels about you, and I know how you feel about…"
"You're wrong," Harry coldly interrupted, "I feel nothing for her, and you can make sure to tell her that, too."
"And you're a liar," Ron shot back, "I'll be the first to admit that it took me a long time to figure out, considering I have the emotional range of a teaspoon, but I definitely saw it, probably before you did. We learned more about each other during those two years we searched for those bloody horcruxes than we did in the six years together at Hogwarts. I know how you two feel about each other. Why in hell do you think I dumped her two years ago? I knew she wasn't happy being my girlfriend and I knew she never would be, but you two, you're…"
"Ron, you're barking!" Harry was almost yelling, "You have no idea what you're talking about! I've never treated her any different from you, and you know it! Given that, you can't honestly say I fancy you!"
"Harry, I'm not stupid, she told me she doesn't care about the way you…"
"How could she not care how I look, Ron?" shouted Harry, "Look at me, mate… even Moody winced the first time he saw me like this! Do you remember when Luna came to teach me meditation three months ago? To deal with this bloody pain? You were there, you remember what happened, don't you? Think back, have you ever seen Luna Lovegood cry about anything?"
Ron didn't answer, finding his shoes very interesting at that moment.
Harry's voice became angrier, not so much at Ron, but at his own words, "And let's not forget about this bloody, stinking pain I'm constantly in. I can't function, I can barely move! Even someone as thick as you can see I'd be better off dead. People all say that it was a miracle I survived. I say it's a bloody curse!"
"Harry, you don't mean that. I swear, it's going to get better, if only you'd…"
"Get out." Harry wasn't yelling anymore, but the low growl of a voice sent a shiver up Ron's spine, "I don't need to listen to this tripe, just leave me alone."
Harry hobbled to the door and opened it for Ron, "Tell her… tell her to find someone that can give her the love that I can't. Tell her to get on with the life that I paid for with my blood. Voldemort's gone, she's safe, you're all safe. She can be happy." Harry then said in a dangerous whisper, "Just… leave… me… alone…"
Ron didn't move. "That's right, V-Voldemort is gone! It's over! The rest of us can live now, but so can you! This is what you fought for… what we fought for! Do you really think Hermione is that shallow? My God, man, the woman loves you!"
Harry didn't answer, he just held the door and looked at Ron with a savage glare that spoke volumes for him.
Ron shook his head and reluctantly walked out of the room. Harry slammed the door behind him, made his way to the counter next to the icebox and grabbed the bottle of firewhiskey.
Tears started falling down his cheeks as he held the bottle in his shaking hand. It wasn't shaking from anger, but from his damaged nerves. He roughly pulled the cork from the bottle with his teeth and spit it across the floor. He grimaced as the amber liquid scorched its way down his throat, "She deserves more than I can give. I was going to ask her to… if I survived… but she can't have me looking like this… I'm rubbish… she can't want me like this."
Pains of grief shot through his chest as he fell onto his bed. He started crying in earnest, "We were going to be together… we were supposed to be happy... together."
He could feel himself dying inside.
I feel the dream
in me expire and there's no one left to blame it on.
I hear you label me a liar 'cause I can't seem to get this through.
You say its over, I can sigh again, yeah…
Why try to stay sober when I'm dying here?
With a fresh supply of 'Old Ogden's Forget the Frickin' World,' Harry proceeded to drown his days in the liquid comfort that the alcohol provided. For a few days, he forgot about his pain, forgot about his friends, and forgot about the wizarding world, but, as always, the bottled amnesia would wear off and the world would reappear to mock him. The world that was celebrating his triumph, but didn't seem to give a rat's arse what was sacrificed.
They were just names to the general populace, just names…
Sirius Black… Albus Dumbledore… Susan Bones… Neville Longbottom… Remus Lupin… Nymphadora Tonks… Charlie, Fred and George Weasley…
"God, Fred and George…" Harry was holding his face thinking about them, "They were fantastic blokes… they didn't deserve what happened to them… killed in their sleep by their Imperioused wives… So much pain. If I'd only done things quicker.
He thought back on the time the twins shared the infamous Marauder's Map with him, the map that his own father helped to create. That map proved more valuable to him than anything he had ever possessed. From the reverse engineering of the magics on the Marauder's Map, he was able to produce a detailed map to Voldemort and every single one of his Death Eaters. Every single person with the Dark Mark appeared on the map. If only he hadn't waited that one extra day to confront Voldemort. Just one day.
After Voldemort's defeat, Ron and Hermione had shared Harry's map with the Ministry's aurors. Within weeks, all of Voldemort's followers were imprisoned without error, for the magics of the map proved who was truly in league with the dark lord and who was merely under the Imperious curse, something the Ministry didn't have during the first war.
Harry knew that now, for the first time in many decades, the wizarding world was truly free from the clutches of the most evil wizard in living memory.
And the people celebrated.
And I am aware
now of how everything's gonna be fine,
one day too late, I'm in hell.
I am prepared now seems everyone's gonna be fine
one day too late, just as well.
Harry awoke in a soft, comfortable bed, which was something strange to him. He had grown accustomed to greeting the new day lying on a dirty, wooden floor. He began to relax, realizing that being in a soft, warm bed with clean sheets and a fluffy blanket was so much better than having his remaining joints mercilessly assaulted by the unforgiving surface of the floor.
The bright morning sun poured through the large bay window, sending a comfortable glow throughout the room. A sparkle caught his eyes the moment he opened them. He looked down at the dainty hand that rested on his chest. On the third finger of that hand lay the wedding band he had given her years before. He was aware of the pleasant warmth beside him. He could feel her soft leg resting on top of his own legs under the blanket. He could feel the naked form pressed into his side, and could feel her head, softly cushioned by a fluffy mass of hair, that was entrapping his arm beneath it. He could feel the rise and fall of her chest against him and the softness of her breath on the side of his neck.
He turned his head and stared into Hermione's peacefully sleeping face. He brushed away a stray curl that was dangling over her eyes then gently felt her warm cheek with the back of his hand. The corners of her mouth curled into a tiny smile at his touch. She was obviously having some pleasant dream.
He turned his head and looked across the room. He could hear the soft cooing of his son as he quietly played with the stuffed hippogriff in his crib.
Harry smiled as he closed his eyes again. A sense of peace and security washed over him. "Finally, a family…" he thought, "my family!"
And I'm not
scared now I must assure you you're never gonna get away,
And I'm not scared now And I'm not scared now, no.
Harry truly awoke this time to the sound of a window opening noisily. The window was charmed to allow owls to enter without him having to open it himself. He clenched his eyes tightly shut and slammed his fist into the pillow. The peaceful feeling he had quickly turned to bitterness. To Harry, that dream was worse than any nightmare he ever had. Worse, because it's a dream that he desperately wanted to become reality, but knew would never come true.
The owl landed on his bed and held out its leg. Harry fumbled for a few minutes before finally managing to get the letter from the owl. It was a message from St. Mungos Hospital reminding him of that morning's appointment. The letter was also a port key that would deliver him to the hospital at the appointed time.
Harry sat on the edge of his bed and attached the prosthetic leg on his ragged stump, which was difficult to do with only one working arm. It took him fifteen minutes of struggling before he finally finished dressing himself.
The port key delivered him to the hospital directly into one of the treatment rooms instead of the reception area. Harry was thankful that they remembered, he hated the stares he always got from the people in the lobby when they saw him.
Four long hours later, Harry found himself back in his room. He was sitting on his bed with the report from St. Mungo's laying beside him and half a bottle of firewhiskey in his hand. He was about to polish off the second half when a knock sounded on his door.
Harry clumsily made his way to the door to let Ron in.
"Hi, mate, how're you do…" Ron stopped when he saw 'that' look on Harry's face. "What happened?"
Harry made his way back to the bed, picked up the report and handed it to him before picking up the bottle again.
Ron scanned the report and his expression fell only for a moment before he spoke with a forced optimism, "Well, it's not too horrible… it's just going to take more time than they thought, is all."
"I can't take it anymore, Ron…" Harry's voice sounded weak, defeated… "I can't live like this. I thought I'd get used to the pain, but I was wrong. Two years, Ron, they said it'll take two more years before they can do anything about it. I can't take this pain for two more years," Harry's face contorted as a sob escaped his throat, "I just can't stand it anymore. Why didn't they let me die?"
Ron hugged Harry as he cried on his shoulder. Ron couldn't stop his own tears from falling as well.
"It'll be ok, mate, you know I'm with you all the way," said Ron, "you know I'll help any way I can."
Harry stepped back and wiped his face on his sleeve. "Bring me to Diagon Alley, I need to get to Gringott's"
A short while later Ron was sitting on the front steps of Gringott's Bank, waiting for Harry to return from within. It didn't take long for a small crowd of well-wishers to form around him, after all, he was one of the trio… a friend of 'The-Boy-Who-Made-You-Know-Who-Cry-Like-a-Schoolgirl'. The novelty of fame had worn off for Ron long ago, but he was still polite, smiling while signing autographs and shaking hands.
The small crowd around Ron suddenly went still and every smile abruptly disappeared. A few people gasped, others just stared with looks that ranged from pity to horror, and a few of the children just pointed and whispered while hiding behind their parent's robes. Ron turned around and saw Harry standing at the top of the marble stairs. He immediately abandoned the crowd and rushed up to help him down the stairs.
A small girl, who had been standing a short distance away from the crowd slowly walked up to Harry as he reached the bottom step. She looked him straight in the eyes and said, "Mr. Potter?"
Harry simply nodded to her.
"My mum told me all about what you did for us. You made the bad man that killed my daddy go away," She wrapped her arms around Harry's legs and hugged him, "I just wanted to thank you."
Harry smiled as he bent down and kissed the little girl on the forehead, "You're very welcome, sweetheart."
"Come on, Harry," said Ron while taking his arm, "let's go to the Cauldron for a quick butterbeer. It'll be just like old times."
The pair slowly made their way through the street towards the Leaky Cauldron. Harry looked around at the throngs of people, some hurrying from shop to shop, some just lazily window-shopping… all without a care in the world. "This is how Diagon Alley was before the war, remember Ron?"
"I dunno, I think there are more people out and about than before. Everyone had 'cabin fever' for so long, I think they're all just happy that the danger's past."
I am aware now
how everything's gonna be fine,
one day too late… I'm in hell
I am prepared now, seems everyone's gonna be fine.
One day too late, just as well.
The next morning, Harry awoke from the same dream he has had for months. He wasn't disturbed about it on this particular morning. According to The Daily Prophet, This day was Harry Potter Day, exactly one year after the final battle.
Harry attached his leg and proceeded to dress himself. He spent a few hours packing all of his belongings into the trunk at the foot of his bed. He reached into the nightstand beside his bed and picked up his wand from the drawer. This was the first time he touched his wand since he moved in. He walked to the pile of empty firewhiskey bottles and performed a vanishing spell on them. He then did a quick scourgefy on the room, and then tucked his wand into his belt.
Harry sat on his bed and picked up the two rolls of parchment, one that he had brought from Gringott's the day before and the other he wrote out when he returned home afterwards. The first roll was a copy of his will that he had one of the goblins witness and notarize at the bank. He read the short document quickly. One million Galleons to go to St. Mungo's, and the balance of his estate was to be split equally between a Mr. Ronald Weasley and a Miss Hermione Granger.
He opened the second roll of parchment and read through it one last time.
Dear Ron and Hermione,
First off, I'm sorry about this handwriting, but I have to do this left-handed, you know. It's not as easy as it seems.
Just a note to thank you both for all you've done for me. You both stood by me in the blackest of times and your faith in me never wavered. I know I never could have beaten Old Tommy without your help and support. The world owes you two just as much as it did me.
The world doesn't need me anymore, and truthfully, I don't need the world, either. I'm leaving now, but before I go, I just wanted to tell you guys just how much you've meant to me.
Ron, you've been closer to me than I think any brother could be. You helped keep me sane when the world was collapsing at my feet. You kept me going, kept me focused. I'll also be forever grateful to you for the kindness you've shown me for the past few months… taking care of me, even when I was being a right bastard. You didn't deserve any of the crap I handed you, so for that, I'm sorry. Just remember that I love you, mate, you were the best friend I could ever want.
Hermione… What can I say? During the war, you were my rock and my voice of reason. Your unique skills made it possible for our world to be finally free. I was amazed time and time again by the courage you displayed in the face of almost certain death. Yes, you're brave and skilled, but more than that, you were my reason for living, my only reason for living. I'm sorry things turned out this way. Going into the final battle, I knew that I was going to win or that I was going to lose, either live or die. I had accepted that, but I never expected my life to turn out like this… being half of a man. I so desperately wanted to tell you back then, but I couldn't. If I had died, I'd want you to remember me as a lost friend rather than a lost love, it would have been far less painful for you. God, I wish things were different. I wish I could be the man you deserve. It's really unfair, to work so hard for so long, only to have life stab you in the back. Goodbye, Hermione, I love you so much. I'm truly sorry for leaving like this, and I hope you will understand someday, and maybe even forgive me.
Well, I'm off to see my mum and dad, and Sirius, too, hopefully. I'll say 'hi' for both of you, then I think I'm going to have a nice, long rest.
Goodbye, I know we will meet again, hopefully that won't be for a very long time.
With all my love,
p.s. Ron! Make sure you get my firebolt before Hermione takes it, she's had her eye on it for ages!
Harry rolled the parchment and placed it on his trunk.
Yes, it was in order. He was now prepared to cast his last spell. Soon, the pain would end.
I am prepared
now, seems everything's gonna be fine for me.
For me, for myself
For me, for me, for myself…
For me, for me, for myself…
Harry disapparated from his room into the front yard of his parent's home in Godric's Hollow. He doubled over in pain as he appeared, apparating was very rough on him with his condition. When the pain subsided, he stood upright and slowly limped around the side of the ruined house to a small family plot nestled in a copse of birch trees.
Harry hobbled his way to the twin gravestones of his parents and he knelt between them. The sun was shining brightly in the morning sky. The warm breeze that pushed the few fluffy clouds slowly across the sky also ruffled his already messy hair.
"Hi mum, dad… I'm just letting you know that I'm on my way to see you. I've done what I had to do here. It's over for me now."
The warm breeze turned slightly cooler as it pushed a cloud lazily across the face of the sun and blanketed the small graveyard with its shadow.
Harry pulled his wand out from his belt and held it with its tip pointing to his own chest.
I am prepared
now, for myself…
I am prepared now,
"I hope you won't be angry with me, but I really can't stay here anymore. There's nothing left for me here."
"You're wrong, Harry." The soft voice sounded from behind him. He didn't have to look, he knew that voice very well, "There is something here for you."
"How did you know I was here?" asked Harry as he stared at the trembling tip of his wand.
"I've been waiting for you… every day. I knew you'd come here eventually."
"You know me too well." Harry paused, and then asked, "Why have you been waiting for me? I suppose this is why you quit your job… to wait for me."
"Because I knew you'd end up trying… well, doing what you're about to do."
"And you knew I'd come here?"
"As you said, I guess I know you too well."
Harry was still staring at the shaking wand in his hand, "Are you going to stop me?"
"Well, I'm going to try, but there's only one person who can stop you, and that's you."
"I can't stop, Hermione, I just…"
"Ron came to me last night after he left you. He told me about the healer's report."
"Then you know what I'm in for if I stay. I can't do it, Hermione, I can't take it anymore. You have no idea what it's like…"
"Tell me, Harry… tell me what it's like."
"You know when you sleep on your hand wrong, and it goes all pins and needles? It's like that times a hundred, all over my body. Every moment of every day, over every inch of my skin, and those bloody nerve-regenerating potions make it worse. It hurts when I wear clothes, it hurts when I use the loo. I can barely sleep because of it."
Hermione just stood silently behind Harry and listened.
"It gets worse when the fits come around. It feels like the cruciatus… the pain is paralyzing. But do you know what's worse than all this pain?" Harry looked up to the sky and blinked, trying to will away the wetness that was forming in his eyes. He noticed the sun still hadn't peeked out from behind the cloud that concealed it.
"What's that, Harry?" Her voice sounded strained and weak.
"It's the horrified looks that I get from people. Friends, strangers… it doesn't matter… everyone looks at me like I'm some sort of monster. I'm used to people staring at me, just look at all those years at Hogwarts, but this is different. I see the pity in their eyes. Children are afraid of me, Hermione. Do you have any idea what that's like?"
"I heard there was one child that wasn't afraid of you... and you surely know that there are people who look at you and don't see the scars, or the fake leg. There are people who can see beyond that. There are people who can see the real you."
"Well, the real me is finished. I don't have the strength anymore. I'm tired… so tired. I just can't fight anymore.
"So you're really going to do it, then? It's over, just like that?"
Harry didn't turn around, he didn't say anything, he simply nodded.
"Fine." said Hermione. She walked up, knelt on the grass beside him, drew her wand, and pointed it at her own chest. Her hands were trembling worse than his were.
Harry turned his head in time to see a single tear fall from her cheek.
"Hermione… please… this is hard enough without…"
"No," she said while staring straight ahead, "If you're going, then I'm going too. I've been waiting for you, Harry, and I don't mean waiting for you to come here. I've given you time, waiting for you to let me back into your life. That's all I wanted, Harry… you're all I wanted, and if you take that away from me, then… then there's nothing left for me here, either. I'm certainly not going to try to fool myself into believing that I could live without you. I've followed you to the gates of Hell and back, and I'll follow you into death, too."
Hermione turned her head and looked directly into Harry's eyes. She didn't wince at the sight of his face. She didn't grimace. She only gave him a faltering smile and said, as the tears were falling freely from her eyes, "You aren't leaving without me. You'll need someone with you to keep you out of trouble."
Harry was finding it very difficult to keep his wand steady as his own eyes filled with tears.
"Please, Harry, can you do something for me before we go?"
Harry opened his painfully dry mouth to speak, but the lump in his throat prevented any words from escaping.
"Please…" she said, "just a kiss goodbye?" She didn't wait for an answer, she needed to make him understand. She just dropped her wand and lunged at him, knocking him onto his back as her body landed on top of him. She crushed her lips against his, pouring every ounce of her passion, every bit of her love, every scrap of her very soul into that kiss. It was their first kiss, and would be their last kiss.
Harry winced in agony as his back hit the ground, but the moment her lips touched his, the pain was forgotten. The fierceness of her kiss drove the pain, the graveyard, the whole world from his mind. He became lost in the rush of emotions pouring over him. He could only feel the pressure of her body and her hot tears that fell onto his face as she continued to steal the breath from him.
Just when he was sure he was about to pass out from lack of oxygen, she released his lips, but continued to trail kisses across his cheek and down to his neck.
"Please, Harry," He could hear the desperation in her voice as she whispered into his ear, "Please don't do this to me, to us… Please don't leave me. Please… I'll do anything, anything you want… anything at all, just please don't leave me here alone. I'm begging you… Even if I didn't kill myself here, I'd die without you anyway. Oh, God, Harry… I love you so much… Please don't, I'm begging you."
He wrapped his arm around her trembling form. They were both sobbing uncontrollably as they lay in each other's arms for what seemed like hours. She still had her arms wrapped around his neck and he could feel her warm breath on his ear as she cried. After a time, he had thought she had fallen asleep on top of him until he felt her sigh.
Without saying a word, she rolled off from his chest and returned to her kneeling position on the grass beside him. She picked up her wand and held it in front of her, with the tip pointed at her chest. He saw that her hand was not shaking anymore and her damp face was set with a grim determination.
Harry sat beside her for a minute and just looked at her. He retrieved his wand and with a groan, managed to get to his feet. He reached down, took her hand and lifted her from the grass. "Take me home, Hermione."
"Yeah, really… I didn't bother taking my potions this morning, and, well let's just say that I'm really missing them right about now." He gave her a sad smile and said, "Two more years of hell won't seem so bad with you there, and by the way, I don't know whether you know it or not, but I love you, too."
"Oh, Harry!" Hermione threw her arms around him and kissed him again. "I can't bring you directly home, you know. I still don't know where it is."
"Well, don't get too excited, the place is a dump. It looks like we'll have to make a stop at Ron's first, he's the secret keeper. I believe I owe him a few apologies anyway."
Harry turned and looked at his parents' gravestones and said, "Bye mum, dad… It looks like you'll have to wait a while longer to see me."
The warm breeze returned, and the stubborn cloud finally drifted past the morning sun, once again bathing the small graveyard with its comforting light.
He turned back to Hermione, took her arm and braced himself for the pain he was sure to receive from the apparation. "Ok, I'm ready." With a crack, they both disappeared.
…and I am fine again.
A/N: If you liked this, please leave a review, and be sure to check out my other stories.
Junko & Jeff (Angry Hermione) & her morbid husband. (Yes, he's morbid… He actually killed Harry before I changed the ending for him!)