AUTHOR'S NOTE This is a DARKFIC! It deals with what I would think to be a realistic end to a big war like the one that's coming down the road for Harry and the others. That means that lots of people die. Sorry.
So I hope you enjoy and everyone celebrate that DEATHLY HALLOWS comes out TOMORROW NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT!!
DISCLAIMER Don't own these people! JKR does. I'm just borrowing them.
The stars were out above Godric's Hollow.
A small group of dark figures stood in clusters in a silent and still grove. It was fitting to be back in Godric's Hollow after so many years. After so much had happened. It felt as though a circle had been completed. A synchronicity had been reached. Those who were supposed to be reunited had been.
And yet, as fitting and unavoidable as it all was, it was the day that Harry Potter had been dreading for three years.
He stood alone, closest to the four magnificent monuments that adorned the grass. Behind him, the other twelve people waited silently in the light warm breeze. There was no happiness but there was peace.
It had been a year since the Great War. Since everything in their world had been razed to the ground and slowly built back up from the ashes. The world was a different place than the one they remembered – than the one that so many people had died protecting. Nothing was the same.
Harry felt his hair lifted by the slight wind but he did not move. It did not seem possible that they were all gone. It felt like he should be crying as he stood there, but as he gazed at the newest headstone in the cemetery that had been dedicated to those who fell in the brave battles against the greatest Dark wizard ever to threaten the world, a far away sense of calm seemed to reach for the edge of his mind.
He was standing in front of the graves of Lily and James Potter. His parents had been the first to be buried here, near to the home that they had tried to protect. After that terrible night that Sirius Black had died, Albus Dumbledore had decided at last to return to Godric's Hollow. Although there was no body to bury, Dumbledore placed a headstone for Sirius next to that of James, thus reuniting the best friends at last.
Since then, the graveyard at Godric's Hollow had become the final resting place for many of the most talented witches and wizards the world had ever seen. A grand spire was erected in the center as a memorial to Dumbledore, though his body rested in the white tomb on the grounds of Hogwarts.
And now it was time to say the final goodbye to one of the most dedicated and beloved members of the Order of the Phoenix – the last Marauder, Remus Lupin.
Harry had appreciated the presence of the others who had come for Remus's funeral, though he was also glad that they were now letting him stand alone. After Sirius and Dumbledore had died, Remus too had stepped into a fatherly role in Harry's life. He would miss him terribly.
The only solace that Harry could find was that Remus was with his friends now. And while his death had not been necessarily peaceful, it had certainly been a kinder hand that had led him to the other side than the one that had ripped away Lily, James, Sirius, Dumbledore, or any of the others now lying at rest in Godric's Hollow.
Behind Harry, the other mourners began to break into smaller groups that moved around the graveyard. He would join them in time, but for now he wanted to spend these last few minutes with Remus. His throat tightened when he realized that the others too would probably want privacy as they visited the graves of their loved ones.
Just out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Ginny, Bill, and Percy Weasley standing before a long row of graves to the left of Lily Potter's. Tears came unbidden to Harry's eyes as he glanced at the nearest grave before them – the only one he could read and the only one that he did not want to. Ron Weasley had been his best friend. And to also lose Molly and Arthur, Charlie, and Fred and George was more than Harry could bear to think about.
Percy had returned to his only surviving brother and sister after the war, clearly broken by the loss of most of his family and begging Bill and Ginny for forgiveness. And so the three stood together, their red hair being the only similarity that remained between them. Percy's eyes had lost all arrogance and sharpness, but they no longer reflected happiness or love either. Bill's features had long ago been lost to a mass of scars. Ginny alone seemed to have escaped the war without any hurt reflected in her face.
Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnegan, and Luna Lovegood stood farther in the graveyard behind the Weasley plot. They stood silently, gazing at a long swath of gravestones that ran up further into the darkness, then once it passed Dumbledore's spire, turned sharply to form an angle and run behind the shadow of the tall statue. A large crest marked the entry to the plot – a crest made up of a lion, a badger, an eagle, and a serpent.
The four former Hogwarts students wandered through the graves of their classmates who had fallen fighting for good. Though most of the graves were marked with the golden lion of Gryffindor, there were several, such as Cho Chang's, with the bronze eagle of Ravenclaw and even one with the silver serpent of Slytherin marking the resting place of Blaise Zabini. Seamus spent a long time staring at the stone bearing the name of his best friend Dean Thomas, while Hermione wandered between the headstones of Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson.
She looked up and saw Oliver Wood and Alicia Spinnet next to Katie Bell's grave. Alicia and Oliver were the only two members of Harry's original Gryffindor Quidditch team left alive.
Neville had detached himself from the group and approached the plot just past that of the Mauraders and Lily where Hagrid, Professor McGonagall and Nymphadora Tonks were gathered. He stood silently, dwarfed by Hagrid's huge size, and stared at the graves of his parents, Frank and Alice Longbottom. They shared their plot with Mad-Eye Moody, who had given his life trying to save Fred and George Weasley. It turned out that his sacrifice was in vain. The twins had been struck down side-by-side moments later.
Harry turned his eyes back to the graves in front of him and felt a surge of anger. This was the cemetery plot dedicated to those who had called themselves the Marauders, but it was because of the one who was not there that any one of these people was dead. Clenching his fist, Harry could only be glad that Peter Pettigrew was also dead and would now be separated from those who had thought him a friend forever.
Peter was not the only Death Eater who was dead. Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange, Vincent Crabbe, Gregory Goyle, and Pansy Parkinson had also been either killed during the battle or executed after. Narcissa Malfoy had made quite a scene at Lucius's execution, but as she could never be proven as a Death Eater, she had been allowed to go free. Harry was glad to see the Death Eaters die. The only person who was not there who he thought deserved death was Severus Snape.
No one had heard from or seen Snape since the night he had escaped from Hogwarts. Only with great help from his friends had Harry managed to put Snape out of his mind and live a life not bent on revenge.
He brushed another tear away. Remus in particular had helped Harry do this.
Remus had not died at a Death Eater's hand. He had survived the war against Voldemort. When he developed a deep cough, it was dismissed as nothing more than the flu. None of them had ever heard of the disease that gave a normal person a cold but was fatal to a werewolf.
Tonks blamed herself at first. She should have seen it. She should have known. She should have saved him. Harry glanced at her and met her eyes over Remus's headstone. Her hair was black for the funeral. Her eyes were red from crying. And Harry knew that she would never love anyone else. But he also knew that she would be okay.
Every part of Harry's life was here in this cemetery. There were classmates. There were Quidditch players. There were members of the Order of the Phoenix and of Dumbledore's Army. There was his family.
There was one more grave in the small cemetery, way back in the corner. Harry did not understand why Cornelius Fudge had to be buried in the place that had been made sacred by the blood of those who had fought Voldemort, but the Order had insisted. After all, they said, he too had fallen fighting the good fight. It brought Harry a small amount of solace that Fudge's resting place had no visitors.
Eventually the others came back to Harry's side. It was time to go. But Harry knew that he would never really leave this place. A piece of himself would be forever in this soil, with Ron, with Sirius, with Dumbledore, with his mother and father. He would remember them all.
Ginny slipped her hand into his. Then, the survivors of the war turned and left the cemetery.