A/N: The poem that inspired this (and is included) is 'Beside the Bed' by English poet, Charlotte Mew. I felt there was a story to be found in it and it came along in the shape of this piece with implied femslash and character death. Any feedback would be nice, thanks for reading.
Nothing I could articulate would explain the tightness in my chest as I walked down the darkening avenue, Harry at my side. The weeks had been surprisingly quiet, few attacks or disappearances; though none of us had dared to hope aloud, the sense of panic had diminished some. The interlude gave us a chance to regroup, to pack up the dead and bid farewell to our fallen friends and family. The burials had been coming thick and fast.
Glancing at Harry, I found his eyes already on me. It's no shock that my discomfort increased; over the last few years Harry had developed quite the nose for danger. His hands, previously clenched in the pockets of his jeans, became alert; he pulled his wand out of his jacket.
We approached the house with a tangible sense of dread surrounding us. My fingers were gripping the end of my wand with such vigour I was worried it would snap and leave me defenceless. Harry halted me with his arm and nodded towards the sturdy oak door of the cottage; it was ajar.
Recognising my urge to dash inside, he warningly grabbed my arm. I fell back behind him, my stomach churning with the thought of what we could come across in what I had considered to be my safe haven, the one place I had been able to trust.
I allowed Harry to go in first. He crept into the homely living room initially, I stuck to his heels, all the time listening intently for sound of movement. The fact that none came simply pronounced my worst fear. I slipped away from the wizard in front of me to walk silently up to the next floor. I knew what had happened before I saw it.
Someone has shut the shining eyes, straightened and folded
The wandering hands quietly covering the unquiet breast:
So, smoothed and silenced you lie, like a child, not again to be questioned or scolded;
But, for you, not one of us believes that this is rest.
On instinct I knew you weren't asleep, no matter how much I wished it. Even in the night you never stopped moving, your arm would so often idly wrap around my waist and I'd believe you were teasing but, if you were, it was merely your subconscious. If you were still, it could only mean one thing.
My feet locked for an uncomprehending moment then I was at your side, a tear falling from my eye onto your freckled chin. When I heard Harry enter a few seconds later my eyes shot up to his, strewn with wetness as they were, to plead with him. 'Why? Tell me!'
Harry's face echoed with the hollowness of the death he had seen. 'I don't know,' he answered quietly, letting his wand arm fall limply at his side.
Stroking a curl of fiery hair, somehow dimmed by the lack of life, more tears fell uncontrolled onto your face. 'What did he have to gain? Harry, tell me!'
My voice shook him. Over to the bed he came, kneeling beside me to take my hand. 'I can't. He just likes causing pain, making people suffer.'
'She hadn't done anything!'
'No, but she was in the Order,' he said gently. 'It's his own private hit list.'
The fingers of my left hand were trembling. 'Harry, what am I supposed to tell her mum? She trusted me to look after her!'
A single tear slipped out of his eye. 'You tried. Everybody knows how much you cared for her.'
'No, they don't,' I disagreed, wincing at the coolness of your cheek to my palm. 'They can't even imagine.'
Not so to close the windows down can cloud and deaden
The blue beyond: or to screen the wavering flame subdue its breath:
Why, if I lay my cheek to your cheek, your grey lips, like dawn, would quiver and redden,
Breaking into the old, odd smile at this fraud of death.
For an indefinable amount of time we sat there, the three of us. Outside in the back garden the sun began to creep over the nettles we hadn't had a chance to remove in out short time there. Harry broke away first, disappearing out into the hall. I was left alone, gazing at your closed eyelids and willing them to open. Part of me thought that if I waited it would happen. I'd never wanted anything as much in my life, despite all the deaths and tragedies that had already befallen us. You were my singular reason for living sometimes, Ginny. The reason I awoke and did what I did for the order. I wanted you to be safe. I thought I could ensure that.
Because all night you have not turned to us or spoken
It is time for you to wake; your dreams were never very deep:
I, for one, have seen the thin, bright, twisted threads of them dimmed suddenly and broken,
This is only a most piteous pretence of sleep!