Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Stand By Me

Darkness had laid upon the land, washing over the lake and it's occupants, leaving their watery world in an obsidian abyss. A lifeless energy pulsed through the night, the moon the only light for what seemed to be miles. A disturbance flowed through the space as footsteps interrupted the thick, warm silence. They were followed by a lover's whisper, warm against a feminine ear as a silent shiver ran through both of them at once.

A ripple flew across the lake as the two sat on a rather mossy hill, still holding hands as if at any moment, they could be wrenched apart. Her eyes darted to the sky, watching as the silver flecks of stars shone like the fairy dust she had once imagined as a child. Her eyes left the mystic scene and found another pair, who's color still shown a pale blue in the darkest of nights.

She blushed as she felt him search her, she smiled knowingly, and looked down before turning to watch the reflection of the night sky on the frictionless black slate of water. His courage soared at her nervousness, the fact that she was by his side this night, the very night that should not have been there for either of them, it made him feel stronger with her body next to his. He wished himself forever in this moment.

He placed his palm under her chin and cupped it lightly, stroking his thumb across her delicate jaw line as he did so. She looked up at him with hesitancy in her eyes, fear still imprisoned in them, he willed it all away as his lips softly curved to hers.

She moved slowly, timid as he stroked her lower lip with his tongue, but as the stiffness of her muscles grew weary, her hands began to grow anxious, her lips more frantic in their search for contact. Her breathing coming in short, small gasps, she struggled for the closeness, to ease the ache that the loneliness of the past months had left her with.

His fingertips were at the sides of her slender neck, holding her to him with security in his movements. He had grown envious through the years, and at this point, she was all his, and for once, things ended the way they were supposed to.

Though the castle that lay crumbling was only a mere hundred yards away through the thickened, black forest, debris strewn across the battered land, bits of century old rubble lay motionless in the dark as the loud calls from the injured pierced the silence, it was as it was supposed to be.

Glory was evident, even in the most broken of hearts, bodies of the unwanted laying as still as the night, so innocent in death, yet sinister in their lifeless, open eyes. Dread was drained from those who's burden had been lifted, by the gift Harry had given them all, freedom.

The land held hope for the upcoming morning, brief in it's time, but needed nonetheless. It washed the land with warmth, an inviting sense of security that had blanketed over the hills since the last flick of an ancient wand.

They stared out upon the lake as the sun rise began to show past the horizon. It was golden in triumph, regal and striking, a fit background for the hero that sat alone in Dumbledore's office, emotions conjured through thin air in his fragile heart, relief being the most evident. His eyes were clear with all the unshed tears, his breath calm in the rush of relief.

Pain was just over the edge, soon enough it would overcome them with certainty. The loss of loved ones so young, so beautiful in their humanity, taken away without a second word. But throughout the castle, love shined, Harry could feel it, though he didn't want to. He didn't want to have to face his friends and their parents, people who have lost vital pieces of their lives because of this wretched man, who, in the end, only wanted to kill him.

The sparkle the sun set upon the shards that lay where windows once hung caught the eye of the hidden pair who's hands clasped together as they watched the full sun rise over the lake, casting a silver golden glow upon the land, marking the beauty for what it really was.

Ron looked over to his Hermione, watching as her eyes went alight with the rising of the neon sun. He smiled at the sight, her presence easing the pain that his grief had caused, wiping away the bitter after taste of death. Her hand suddenly reached up to brush away a smudge of ash that streaked across his nose. She wiped it away, gently, nostalgia running through them both.

A beginning, and an end. Brought only with the unconditional love set forth by the fates, one without the other, who knows what might have happened this night. But with her by his side, and Harry striding along the thicket of wood that kept them hidden, waiting for them to return, it was in that that they lived.

Fear stood alone in the fight between the trio. As long as one was with another, and the last wasn't far behind. They were each a part of the ending equation, a necessity in the factors of war, in the magic that enveloped the end result. Their love, it was the thing in books, the kind that was only talked about, and rarely experienced.

They stood together at the edge of the lake, Harry's head hung low with the effort of having to keep it held high for so long, Hermione's hand wrapped protectively around his, as her head lay on Ron's chest, his arm wrapped around her waist. It was another beginning, starting from the end, the end of a story so great, that even the stars, who's lights were dimmed by the rising sun, were jealous at their feat.

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Author's Note: The song was the biggest influence, and I knew it was meant to be when David Archuleta sang it not but a few days after I posted it. Revised and Reposted. Not by best, nor my favorite, but I do love how I described some things. Song by Ben E. Lee. Review!! -Delta