Wow, another Harry Potter fic in a few days. I baffle myself. Anyway, same goes as always- I don't own, don't sue, please review, eat your greens...

They had always known there would be casualties.

In the papers, they read about deaths of faceless and nameless numbers, mere casualties from a war seemingly far away. They had never realised that these people, these statistics, had lives.

They never thought of the eight-month pregnant newlywed who was laying roses on her husband's grave. They never thought of the five-year-old who was told that Daddy was in a better place now. They never thought of the man who came home to find his wife and six month old baby dead in the front hall. They never thought of the mother who had always believed she would never outlive her children.

In death, these people became just another casualty. Just another life ended to make way for Voldemort's path to complete power. Just another number and figure for the data chart. They didn't mourn these people; they simply kept skimming the paper, noting that Flourish and Blotts was having a sale.

A next door neighbour disappeared, a local teacher died tragically, an entire family was murdered in their beds. Yes, this war had casualties, innocents who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just happened to be Muggles, or spoke out against Voldemort. They were just casualties.

Eventually, the war came closer, as they knew it must. They couldn't sit in blissful ignorance for much longer, though they tried.

They knew somewhere deep inside that there was bound to be a casualty that they knew. A casualty that wasn't just a piece of data, a small point on a graph. A casualty who they would mourn.

Somehow, even with this knowledge, it was shock to hear the familiar names that were pouring out of the Daily Prophet's Memorial List- they noted that they need not bother to call Alicia to ask if she wanted to join the Order, no one would pick up, don't ask Ernie about his job, he would only drool and stare vacantly until his carer took him away to his ward, don't visit Cho's house, it was simply wreckage now.

They had known that not everyone could make it out of this war.

Harry would never kiss Ginny again, Remus wouldn't hold hands with Tonks, Amelia wouldn't give her niece her birthday present, Fred would never joke around with George again, Katie wouldn't smile at Oliver, Molly wouldn't be called Mollywobbles by Arthur again, Albus wouldn't twinkle his eyes at a first year, Hermione wouldn't chastise Ron.

These people became statistics in death, became numbers in a history book, their only purpose being thorough research for a random Hogwarts student five hundred years down the track. Just another fact or figure for them to put in their History of Magic essay, trying to lengthen it to three foot. Their deaths became part of boring lessons- why would these students care about these faceless people who died forever and a day ago, it seemed. Why would they care about some casualties that didn't matter in the least to their day-to-day lives? Why did they need know about some death statistics that were a result of a war years ago?

But for the moment, the deaths weren't statistics to them. These people had been real, living, loving, individuals. People who had been taken for granted. Their deaths were shocks, each a horrible jolt that awakened everyone to reality. Each death announcement at breakfast came with a sickly surprise.

But then, they had always known there would be casualties.

As always, don't be afraid to critique this, flames will be used to torch Mary Sues and FanGirl Authors. Yes, they need capitalization. Dangerous species...