Disclaimer:I do not own Harry Potter. If I did…well. It certainly wouldn't be a children's series, that's for sure. Heh heh.
Author's Note: Just a little drabble thing I wrote. I wanted to get it out of my head before I went to bed so that I could have a good nights rest before my first day of the Fall semester tomorrow.
Title: Reflections On a Winter's Night
The wind cut through the branches of the trees within the silent forest. No creature, magical or otherwise, dared to wander about in such deep darkness. Only a lone, stooped figure braved the bone chilling mid-December cold, a light rain dampening his dark robes.
Piercing, emerald eyes stared through raven bangs into the depths of a solitary pool, catching a glimpse of the rocks below the thick layer of ice that had formed on the water's surface. He remembered well how frigid that water was. He could still feel its sharp knife-life effect in his bones as he absently rubbed his arms with his gloved fingers.
He remembered many things best buried and forgotten, like the rocks below the water's surface.
Three long years had passed since the great battle at Hogwarts, though it seemed like only yesterday in his mind. So many loved ones had perished that day. An eternity of tears seemed to have been shed. Everyone had wiped their tears away after a time, some with more difficulty than others, and had moved on. Life had no qualms about continuing on without them and it seemed to take ages to catch up with its brick pace and return to everyday tasks.
Ron, his dearest friend and companion, now lived with George and helped run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. The elder ginger-headed man had never fully recovered from the loss of his other half, but Ron had happily reported that his brother was doing better. He no longer avoided the customers by working in the back of the shop by himself.
Hermione had gone straight to the Ministry of Magic. He smiled. She was a woman with a mission. In the short time she had been there, she had already made many noted differences within the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. He knew Lupin would have been proud.
Then there was Ginny, his lovely, independent fiancé. A soft smile crept to his lips. She was away, in another country with the others on the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team, resting before their big game the next day. A game he wouldn't miss for the world, especially if he wanted to keep his neck.
Finally, there was himself. Harry Potter the boy "that wouldn't just die already." He let out a short laugh at the memory of those long ago days when he and Malfoy had no worries other than who could come up with the best insult and who would be victor of the next Quidditch match.
His life's purpose fulfilled by the fall of Voldemort, he had taken a break from life's woes and traveled the world, taking the time he needed to mend his shattered soul and think before returning with a renewed conviction. He had gone through strenuous training and had become an Auror like his Father before him.
Yet…he had never moved beyond some things. Voldemort no longer plagued his dreams. No, it was the "what ifs" that haunted his sleeping mind. Always, his thoughts lingered on events past, however detrimental he knew such actions to be. There were so many things that he could have done differently. So many things that might not have happened.
He watched as wafts of silver breath rose into the night air, teeth chattering lightly. The Forest of Dean had never seemed so lonely before. Shivering, he looked out into the dark mass of trees. His mind played cruel tricks on him, causing him to see the ever familiar yet almost forgotten image of that dark, looming man in his memories. A man he despised so much during his younger years. The man he admired most in the world. The man he had realized all too late, that he loved dearly.
He hung his head, shoulders slumping forward as he watched the steadily increasing rain make rippling patterns on the surface of the ice. Yes, Harry Potter the boy-that-lived-to-be-a-man, loved someone he could never hold, someone as seemingly cold, and menacing as the ice covered pool before him.
Withdrawing his wand, he muttered a heating charm and watched as the ice on the pool disappeared. He removed a glove and dipped shaking fingers into the freezing water before bringing them to his chapped lips, his eyes slipping closed.
If only he hadn't been so blinded…Perhaps he could have melted that thick layer of ice and felt the refreshing warmth that flowed from the heart of the late Professor Severus Snape.
Funny how the name was thought with such a tone of reverence when once it had held such disdain. He smiled sadly and stood from his crouched position, his legs complaining fiercely.
With a flick of his wand the forest lit up from the pure, luminous light that his Patronus emitted. He ran his palm over its head, no antlers obstructing his path. The doe stared at him intently; just as those coal colored eyes had done long ago.
No one had remarked on the change of his Patronus, assuming that it now represented his dearly departed Mother. How wrong they were. If only they looked closer. If only they studied it's beautiful, strong eyes.
He kept his hand on the deer's neck as it led him from the forest. He would never return to this place, moving on with his life. He would marry his sweet Ginny Weasley and raise a happy family, keeping everyone oblivious to his inner laments and longings for what he could never have.
His grip tightened on the corporal manifestation of his emotions. The doe would fade until summoned again, but his love for the Potions Master would always shine bright in his heart.