A/N: Welcome one and all to yet another Fred/Hermione fic. This one, however, is not a one-shot (matter of fact, it's four chapters), is not humor, and is one of the few that I write in which Fred is actually dead. As a matter of fact, the story you are about to read is not the one I intended to write. I had intended to sit down and write a story in which Hermione is forced to tell everyone the truth about her relationship with Fred after his death. It was supposed to be a story of how their relationship began, progressed, and finally ended. That is not what it ended up as. There are still elements of what I had originally intended, but To Carry On became less about Hermione telling everyone the truth and more about a progression through grief. Forgive me if any of the characters are out of character, and forgive me for any grammatical errors. Or tense errors, I have a huge problem with switching tenses in the middle of things. Anyway, enjoy and leave a review if you'd like. It would be greatly appreciated!

Disclaimer: If only, if only, if only.

To Carry On

I.

The world was gray, the clouds low-set and dark, a fine, misty rain covering everything. She knelt on the cold ground, shivering as the rain hit her bare skin and soaked through the fabric of her shirt. Her hair was plastered to her forehead, the rain turning her brown curls even darker.

Time seemed to suspend. She was aware of Ginny standing at a distance, her head bent, but she seemed far away. Everything seemed far away, everything except for the smooth marble stone in front of her.

She lifted a hand, feeling as if she was in slow motion, and her fingertips traced the letters engraved into the stone. Her hand dropped and she leaned forwards, pressing her lips to the cold marble gravestone, knowing she was crazy and not caring.

"I promised that we would come clean after the war." She said. Her voice was raspy, as though it hadn't been used in a long time. She was glad that Ginny was too far away to hear; she was only too aware that she was talking to a gravestone and she didn't need anyone else to witness the breakdown of her sanity. "I knew that you wanted to tell everyone." She half-smiled. "I knew that you hated keeping it a secret."

"Remember the last night? The night right before the battle. You held me in your arms." Her voice cracked; for a moment she imagined that she could feel his arms around her now, but the feeling was fleeting and gone and left her empty and alone. "And you said you loved me." She bent her head; water cascaded down her face, dripping from her chin, and not all of it came from the rain. "We promised that we would stop being a secret, once it was all over." She lifted her gaze.

For a moment—a moment that confirmed her insanity—she thought that she saw him, a little farther away, standing beneath an oak tree, beckoning her with a smile. She stared, her breath catching in her throat, staring as long as she could, afraid that he would disappear. She closed her eyes and when she opened them he was gone, and the world was gray and dark and bleak.

"We won't be a secret anymore, love. I'll tell them. I'll tell them everything. I won't keep you a secret any longer." She bowed her head again, murmuring a silent prayer. "I just wish that you were here to tell it with me." She brushed her hand over the stone, feeling the cold solidity and wishing that it was warm flesh.

"'Mione?" Ginny's voice said behind her; she jumped and turned, startled by the intrusion. "Are you ready?"

Slowly, Hermione Granger climbed to her feet. She looked at the gravestone one last time and turned away.

"Yeah." She said. Ginny smiled, but it was a painful kind of smile. The redhead placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Okay."

Together the two women walked away, through the rows of grave after grave, leaving behind the one that truly mattered.

Here Lies

Frederick Gideon Weasley

Son, Brother, Beloved

April 1, 1978-May 2, 1998


This chapter is the shortest, I should mention. Reviews?