This is a fic written for miss mcGonagle. She has put up with all my fluffy fics lately and requested…no, demanded some good old fashioned angst on pain of death.
Disclaimer: I own only the plot. (If you can call it a plot)
The song is called Forever Autumn, by Justin Hayward. It is from the concept album War of the Worlds by Geoff Wayne which is well worth a listen. The song is beautiful, without doubt the saddest song I have ever heard. It took me much longer to write the fic than usual as even reading the lyrics kept making me cry. Anyway… here it is.
The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The winter winds will be much colder
Now you're not here
The woman sat curled on the hard muddy grass in a corner of the Hogwarts grounds. She didn't notice the crisp breeze biting into her vulnerable flesh, even though she wore no outer robe. Her hair, usually luxurious silken locks of deepest ebony, hung limply around her face almost brittle and faded in appearance. The sparkling emerald eyes were now dull and glassy, staring blankly, with dark charcoal smudges underneath, evidence of many sleepless nights. Skin that had once been described as ivory was now an ashen, ghostly white, streaked with tears long since shed.
The autumn light was fading, the sun glowing orange on the horizon casting a feeble amber light across the earth. One corner of the stark white marble tomb remained illuminated by this pale light. Reaching out, she caressed the chilled stone, not minding that it numbed her already cold fingers, it made her feel closer to him. She traced the intricate patterns visible on the smooth polished surface of the rock and over the simple inscription.
'Here Lies Albus Dumbledore'
As the sun dipped below the horizon Hogwarts was plunged into the murky shadow of twilight. The wind whipped across the expanse of Hogwarts estate and around the tomb. A small pile of fallen leaves was disturbed by a particularly strong gust, causing them to eddy near the lone woman, trapping some in her already tangled tresses. She made no move to brush them away, just stared forward as if mesmerised by the tomb.
I watch the birds fly south across the autumn sky
As one by one they disappear
I wish that I was flying with them
Now you're not here
The woman was pulled from her silent vigil by the strident cawing of a large flock of birds. Raising her face to the heavens, she followed their progress towards the south, mutely offering a prayer that she might be flying with them. She yearned to be soaring away from her home, their home, floating way from the memories, the harrowing agonising memories of their life together and the horror of his death. No, not death, murder.
Like A song through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on the breeze you blew away
A doleful smile crossed her pale lips as her thoughts turned to the life they had shared; sixty years of friendship, fifty of those as man and wife. Not always blissfully happy, but strong, yes…always strong. She recalled evenings together in their rooms, warmed by a roaring fire, curled safely within his muscular arms; held in a powerful but gentle embrace as he whispered that he would never leave her. Anger bubbled within her wounded soul as she recalled his often repeated promise. As her ire grew she let out an ear-splitting, heart-rending scream into the dusk, causing several small animals to seek refuge in the forbidden forest. She didn't notice however and as her rage peaked she grasped a jagged rock in the palm of her delicate hand. Not feeling the sharp edge pierce her soft flesh, or the warm trickle of blood on her wrist. She hurled the rock at the tomb with all her might; shouting at the top of her lungs, her Scottish brogue thick with emotion.
"You said you'd never leave me, you promised. You lied Albus, you lied to me."
Her fury ebbed as quickly as it had begun and she returned to her original posture; knees drawn tightly up to her chest chin nestling between and her frail arms wrapped around them, as if trying to protect herself from the world, defeated.
Through autumn's golden gown we used to pick our way
You always loved this time of year
These fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
'Cause you're not here
Her attention was drawn to the piles of fallen leaves at the edge of the forbidden forest. Autumn had always been his favourite season. They would stroll together, hand in hand, through the solitude of the woodland, revelling in the privacy that the boughs afforded; kicking the mounds of copper, bronze, ochre and russet towards each other. His childlike behaviour had been one of the things that most attracted her, he balanced her more serious, sober side, in return she grounded him. They had always fit together, complemented each other, two sides of the same coin. Without him she was bereft, incomplete.
A gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes
As if to hide a lonely tear…
My life will be forever autumn
'Cause you're not here
As the dusk became nightfall the lonely figure remained steadfastly beside the tomb. Delicate raindrops began to descend from above, falling on the woman's stricken face, mirroring the bitter tears that had spilled for so many nights. Running in rivulets down her now hollow cheeks, the rain mingled with torrents of hot, briny tears. Shifting closer to the icy, solid marble block, the woman turned to her side and gently rested her head and shoulder against its hardness. Not soft, not soft and warm like his embrace, but still closer to him. With a trembling hand she reached up and tenderly caressed the inscription of his name once more. Shivering, her body wracked with silent sobs, she remained at his side, unwilling to once again be parted from her one true love.