Flowers in the Wind
Standard Disclaimer: Not mine, all characters belong to JKR, I am writing this purely for entertainment, no money is being made. No copyright infringement is intended.
A WARNING TO ALL READERS:
To the people who have read "Harry Potter and the Sword of Gryffindor" and are expecting something along the same vein shouldNOT read this story. THIS IS NOT LIKE MY OTHER STORY! DARK FIC! MAJOR CHARACTER DEATHS AHEAD!
Author's Notes: "Screams" was the first in the series, followed by "The Smiling Man," "Reunion," "Cause and Effect," and "The Downside of Immortality." "Flowers in the Wind" is the sixth installment in the Screams Universe.
Description: Hermione and Harry spend a lazy day on a small hill. Part six of the Screams Universe. DARK SUBJECT MATTER!
It was his birthday soon. Or then again, was it? Had it already come and gone? She wasn't sure. Hermione rarely paid attention to the passage of time anymore. It really didn't matter if she had missed his birthday or not; it didn't have to be his birthday in order for her to get him a present. Her Smiling Man deserved one after all.
But what should she get him? Perhaps a flying broom would be a nice gift? Or some kind of Seeker paraphernalia? Gloves? Goggles? No, those would be pointless; he never played Quidditch anymore; those presents would be worthless. And getting him books would be silly; he had hardly read when they were in school – she did most of the reading for her two wizards. Even something simple like a nice dessert would be a joke, so an ice-cream sundae would be moot. Poor Harry couldn't taste a thing anymore thanks to being all tongue-less. Perhaps she'd get him a plaything; someone he could cut, break, and hurt. She pondered over this for a moment before realizing that she would enjoy the plaything, whoever it would be, more than Harry would. It would be a selfish present; one more for herself than him and not worthy for her special wizard.
Hermione cursed Voldemort. Because of that fiend, Hermione and her friends were kidnapped, constantly tortured, and repeatedly raped. And now, Harry was now nearly impossible to shop for. Hermione hated that Voldemort made her life so hard. The son of a bitch had taken everything away from Harry and she despised Voldemort for that. If only Wormtail hadn't run out of body parts to chop off in order to resurrect his Master, Hermione would still be watching Harry cut up Voldemort over and over again.
The witch let out a bark like laugh. After everything that had happened to her and Harry, she now added such a trivial thing as present shopping to the horrific list of injustices.
Harry looked at her with a question in his eyes.
"Oh, it's nothing," she said and placed her hand on his chest. The veins on the back of her hand suddenly reminded her of a picture of a lazy river she had seen years ago. Hermione followed one of the bulges from her knuckle to her wrist and spoke, "I just thought of something funny."
Then, it sounded.
It was a sad, pathetic voice. That annoying and useless little helpless girl's voice always lurked in the back of her head within the cobwebs of her memories. Weak and hurt. Always begging.
It was a nuisance, like a fly nesting on the ear. Constantly buzzing.
The voice sounded like that of a naïve little bint; one who thought she knew it all.
Silly worthless thing.
Then Hermione remembered the perfect gift for her Harry. She dug into her pockets and pulled out a handful of dead, wilting flowers. The witch had plucked them from the garden of the last wizard they played with. For the past several days, they had been lollygagging in her dark pocket, just waiting to be given to her Smiling Man. One or two crumpled in her palm, but she ignored those ones as not being strong enough, not being worthy of existing.
"Sit up, please," she requested in a happy tone. It was always a treat for her to give Harry a present, it made her happy. Well, at least she felt something close to happiness.
He looked at her, his eyes asking "What for?"
"Because I asked you nicely," Hermione pressed. "It's only polite to comply, Harry."
He blinked once in a sort of playfully annoyed fashion before sitting up. Humming softly, Hermione busied herself by weaving the delicate flowers in his stark white hair. The petals, which once were a brilliant white, back when she had plucked them, were now yellow with death and rot. But the color stood out nicely against Harry's hair.
Two flowers Hermione tried to place in his hair crumpled between her fingers. The witch's face burned, and she cursed the damn things. She was trying to do something nice for Harry and they had to go and die on her. At least the ones that crumbled previously had the decency to do so before she began to place them in Harry's hair. But these ones angered her because she had thought them to be strong enough for her Harry. Worthless things. Just as useless as the annoying voice that lurked in the shadows of her mind.
Despite the few that turned to dust, Hermione was able to place a dozen or so flowers in Harry's hair. To her, he looked like a hero from an epic Greek poem. The flowers made him look majestic and noble.
"Oh God," the voice cried out in her head again. "Help! Please, someone, help me!"
She huffed in irritation. The voice, added with those damn flowers that died on her, made her edgy. The voice reminded her of harsh times. Like when the troll almost crushed her with a club. Or when that Death Eater forced her legs apart for the first time. Damn voice. Why'd it have to dreg up such thoughts on such a pretty day?
Once she was finished with his hair, Harry lay back down. The two had found a grassy knoll a few miles away from the house where Hermione had picked her flowers. The pair had decided to just lie there and waste the day away.
Only a few, fluffy clouds were in the blue sky. Hermione and Harry played a game where they guessed what the clouds looked like. Hermione had an advantage in this game, seeing that Harry couldn't speak.
"That one looks like a fuzzy little bunny caught in a bear trap, his neck is all snapped," she had said pointing at a particular cloud, smiling from ear to ear. "Oh, that one there! It's a house on fire. See it! Look, someone's on the top floor calling for help from one of the windows."
Harry had nodded his head, agreeing with her assessment of what the clouds looked like. It had been a fun, if one-sided game. Now the two were content to just lie in the grass.
Hermione rested her head on his stomach, but she wasn't comfortable. His shirt was scratchy and abrasive against her skin. With a frown, Hermione sat up and tugged his shirt up, exposing his belly. She gently laid her head down once more. This time, it was much more comfortable. His skin warmed her face and she could hear his heartbeat. After a few moments, she began tapping her finger on his thigh in cadence to his pulse. Slow and even, like a lullaby. A sweet lullaby.
"Please stop," the voice whimpered once more.
In order to drown out the bothersome and weak-sounding voice, Hermione pressed her ear against her Harry's belly and basked in the sound of him. She forced herself to listen to the rhythm of him. She found herself wanting to do this with their next plaything. Perhaps, while Harry worked on him or her, Hermione would press her ear to their chest, just to listen to the heartbeat as it raced. She imagined the organ thundering away as Harry cut little chunks out of their skin. Then she imagined how it would sound as the pulse slowed and finally stopping as the plaything died. Then she wondered if her plaything died too quickly; would she get upset like she had with the flowers that crumbled?
A grey cloud slowly rolled across the sky. Marring the beauty of the perfect blueness with the threat of rain. Hermione eyed it, willing it away so that she and Harry could enjoy the rest of the day. But it continued to move across the sky, making the entire sky turn slowly grey.
The annoying little voice whimpered pathetically, reminding Hermione of the face the Death Eater had made when he finished with her and how she had nothing except to endlessly sob like a useless fool.
A gust of wind rustled the grass around the two. Hermione pouted and sat up.
"Looks like nature doesn't want us to enjoy the day," commented Hermione sadly.
His hair blew in the wind as he sat up. A few of the flowers threatened to fly away, but thankfully held fast.
Idly, Hermione began to pluck the flowers out of her Harry's hair. She didn't want the wind to claim them; she had plucked them, she had placed them in his hair, and it felt wrong to have the wind remove them. It was her job to do so.
One by one, she pulled them out of his hair and placed them in her cupped palm. Again, she hummed her tuneless song.
Once they were all out, Harry still looked noble and majestic, like always.
He smiled at her and looked at the wilted flowers in her hand as if to ask "What are you going to do with those?"
In response, she placed her hands together and rubbed them, grinding the dead flowers between her palms. They had served their purpose and weren't needed any longer.
Then Hermione lifted up her hands and let the wind take the destroyed fragments. She watched with a bemused smile as the bits and pieces of the dead flowers danced in the wind. Moving off into the distance, wherever the wind might take them.