And the Sky Was on Fire
It's been a long time, hasn't it?
I'm sorry I don't come visit very often; my days are so busy filled with work, and the nights are no proper time to visit. That's no excuse, I know, but I feel I need to explain it all the same. I feel I owe it to you, to tell you why I'm never around. And I'm sorry.
It's a beautiful day today, isn't it? It seems so strange to be visiting a grave when the sky is so vibrantly blue, and when the world is so alive. It doesn't feel proper, or right, to tell you the truth. As I kneel here mourning, nature is screaming of life, of new beginnings and happy endings. It's uncomfortable, really.
Time passes so quickly, doesn't it? Five years, it's been; five years since you left, left to be buried six feet below the warm rays of the sun. Five years since I first met you and lost you, all too quickly. Five years since the world has been rid of the Dark Lord.
And yet, I can still remember it clearly, so clearly.
The dark was everywhere: here, there, around him and in him, it was his only reality. He willed himself back to the world of the conscious, overcoming the horrible pain that had consumed his energy and weakened his muscles. A great sigh escaped him as his eyes opened to a new night, the true night, the stars dim in the black sky. Harry Potter pushed himself up from the dirt, rising up on unsteady feet, awake once more.
The man of evil regarded him with a locked stare of hatred, as their eyes met across the field. Voldemort sneered as his impure rival rose from his induced sleep, prepared to end this battle once and for all.
"Potter," he spat with poison, as his faithful Death Eaters formed a semi-circle behind him. "You haven't suffered enough, Halfblood?" Behind him, Bellatrix laughed, a cackle that carried in the bitter night air.
Harry struggled to stay upright, concentrating everything he had left on the task at hand. "This is your end." he stated, drawing his wand forth, preparing himself for the inevitable battle.
The Dark Lord's followers mimicked Bellatrix's earlier snickers, as they laughed at the boy's sheer insolence. His death was fast approaching, as the sky slowly lightened in the east.
Their eyes never wavered, still connected, still locked together. Wands raised and ready, the battle began. "Crucio!" cried Tom Riddle, as the word left his mouth and manifested itself upon his opponent. The Chosen One fell to the ground in convulsions as his own body rebelled against him.
His wand fell down beside him. Defenceless, he writhed in all-consuming pain.
Suddenly, his vision was filled with two cloaked faces, as he was yanked up off the ground and forced to his feet. Held up by his enemy, he met those blood eyes once more.
"Death is all you have left, Potter," whispered Voldemort with pleasure, never breaking the boy's stare. He laughed, coldly, as he waved a hand behind him. "Bellatrix, bring it to me."
The woman moved forward, and suddenly, for the first time, Harry noticed a bundle in her arms, a wrapping of blankets around something... his heart froze, cold with dread.
"Before you die, Potter," Voldemort spoke quietly, but in a voice so laced with venom that it sounded like a scream, "I want you to know that your line, your cursed blood, ends with you."
The Boy-Who-Lived found it impossible to breathe. No...
But the right hand disciple of the Dark Lord brought her burden into his sight, and in that moment Harry ceased to live. The frozen face of an emerald-eyed infant stared without life at him, as his knees gave way beneath him.
Voldemort revelled in his all-encompassing satisfaction; he grinned uncontrollably as his one true opponent collapsed to the ground, defeated. Behind him, his horseshoe crowd giggled in delight as they watched their sworn enemy fall before them, obliterated with grief.
But in that moment, in that split second when something inside of him shattered, something new emerged as well. A power that came from within, formed with his anger and outrage and sorrow, a new weapon of uncontrollable passion. His wand flew up from the dirt below and into his waiting hand, as he rose in one motion and attacked.
The laughter dissipated from the air.
He was a madman, a creature without thought or care. From one to another to another he moved like quicksilver, striking them down without pause, defeating them instantly. Broken bodies tumbled into the dead grass, as he made his way through them, stopping for no one, answering no desperate plea for mercy.
The followers disappeared one by one, until there were only two persons left on that blood-stained field, two soldiers pitted against each other for the fate of humanity. Moments later, there was only one who stood there still, a shadowy figure outlined by the pale sunlight.
He shivered with a silent hurt; shock now ruled his body as powerfully as pain. He reached down slowly, gingerly picking up the bundle with as much care as could, holding it close to him. He prayed silently for a miracle to restore life to the rigid bundle in his arms, crying out to the heavens to save the innocent dead. Long moments passed, and no astonishing miracle brought the dead back, no secret piece of magic could bring his child back to life.
Harry Potter fell to his knees once more, clutching the tiny body to him, as the tears crawled down his cheeks. A primal howl escaped him as the grief took control, shattering the new silence of the morning air. And behind him in the east, a new sunset broke, as the sky lit on fire with a brand new dawn.
I never knew you; by the time I first met your oh-so-familiar green eyes, you had already disappeared into the netherworld of death, where I could never touch you. My first greeting to you was that of goodbye, a farewell to a part of me I had never known. I stayed there forever it seemed, simply holding you in my arms, as sorrow and pain and shock all culminated at the same moment.
You were gone, and I had never even known you.
Y'know, I never told anyone this, but I almost gave up that night, on that cold field. I wanted nothing more than for the pain to just consume me, take over me, release me from my world of misery. I was so tired, so tired that I couldn't remember what I was fighting for.
And he showed me you.
You are the reason for this new dawn, this new world without evil. Without you, I would have given in, and let Voldemort take for his the whole planet. There was nothing left in me, no fight, no drive, nothing. But when I saw you, when my heart leaped and shattered all in the same moment, I remembered what it was I was protecting. I remembered what I was fighting for.
And yet, I still couldn't save you.
I dream of you, once and a while. A new future, a different future, if I had been able to save you. A childhood, happy memories and occasions, milestones and birthdays. I see you go to school, grow up, become the person you were meant to be. I see you alive.
But dreams aren't real. They never are, the simple illusions manifested by the mind. Wishes and hopes and prayers that will never be realized. Futures lost forever.
I'm sorry I never knew you, child of mine. I'm sorry I never got to see you smile, or laugh, or cry. I'm sorry I was never there for you, from the beginning to the end. I'm sorry for everything, darling. And I promise I won't let anyone forget you, the child who lit the sky on fire, bringing a new dawn for all of mankind.
I love you, my beautiful daughter. And I will for all of time.