A/N: This is not the same as how it happened in book 7, the battle and the results of the battle have been changed slightly by me to make sense in the story. So, please don't leave me reviews saying things like "That's not how it happened!" or "You're wrong, it went like this:". I know how the battle ended, as I have read "Deathly Hallows" several times, so I know what I'm doing.
These Wounds Won't Seem To Heal
Harry Potter FF by Sophie
Chapter 1: Help me say "Goodbye"
"No more memories,
No more silent tears.
No more gazing across the wasted years…
Help me say 'goodbye'….
Help me say… 'goodbye'…."
---"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"
from Phantom of the Opera
Hermione was standing in the Gryffindor common room with Ginny, Luna, and Neville, waiting for Harry and Ron to join them. They were the only people in the common room, because many students had gone into Hogsmeade to celebrate, or had stayed downstairs to help those who had been wounded or killed. The battle was over, the war at an end at last. And they had won, and it was Harry who had killed Voldemort, as the prophecy had vaguely foretold. Hermione had gotten out of the fighting early though, because Ron had told her to take some of younger students to safety. She hadn't seen Harry or Ron since, but she knew they would be up any minute. Luna was sitting in an armchair by the fire, reading a copy of her father's magazine The Quibbler, with her legs dangling over the arm rest. Neville was sitting next to her, his eyes closed, and a smile on his face. Ginny was smiling to herself as she flicked her wand at a book nearby on the floor, making it levitate off the ground, and then dropping it back again. And Hermione was pacing the room impatiently.
After what felt like several eternities of silence, she heard the portrait swing open, and saw Harry staggering through. Everyone stood up, and Ginny raced forward to kiss Harry, relief flooding her face. Hermione and Luna both hugged him, and Neville patted him on the back.
"I can't believe it's finally over!" Luna cried, grinning.
"I know!" Ginny said, "It's wonderful!"
"You were fantastic, Harry." Neville said, "We couldn't have finished him off without you. Well done."
"Thanks." Harry replied. Hermione, however, was surprised to hear that he sounded less than thrilled.
"Harry?" she asked timidly, "What's wrong? Aren't you glad that we don't have to fight anymore?"
He tried to smile back at her, but she could tell it was fake. "Yeah… 'course I am… but-Hermione-there's something I need to tell you…"
Hermione's smile faltered, "What is it?" she asked, worry filling her body. Harry's face was white as parchment, his eyes were growing watery, and his hands were shaking.
"It's… It's-hard to say…" Harry started off, but stopped mid-sentence. He looked pained, and sat down shakily in the closest chair. Hermione, Luna, Ginny, and Neville followed, and Hermione knelt down in front of him.
"Tell me what happened, Harry. Please." she urged him, she was getting scared now. What could have happened to make him so grave? She wondered.
Harry looked up at her, his eyes brimming with tears. "During the battle… one of the Death Eaters killed-someone…" he paused, putting his head in his hands.
She laid her hand on his shoulder, trying to comfort him. "It's okay, Harry." she murmered, "Tell me."
Harry had started to cry, she could see the tears falling onto the carpet. "He killed him…." he whispered, "He k-killed him, Hermione…"
Hermione stared at him, unsure of what to do. Slowly, she put her arms around him, and pulled him into a hug. His whole body shook as he sobbed into her shoulder. She was scared of what he would tell her, but she didn't let go, because she knew he needed this. His broken sobs were bringing tears to her eyes now, and she looked up at Neville, Ginny, and Luna who all looked extremely worried too.
"Harry," she whispered, rubbing his back gently, trying to calm him. "Who did he kill? Tell me."
Harry's sobs quieted, as he took a few deep breaths. After a moment, he managed to choke out the word, "R-Ron."
Hermione jumped backward from him, sitting on the floor with her hands behind her to hold her up. She had pushed away from him so quickly that everyone looked startled. She looked up at him, "Excuse me?" she asked, raising her eyebrows, seemingly not hearing him, "What did you say?"
Harry's face was drenched with tears and his eyes were red. "He killed R-Ron, Hermione!" He sobbed, "He's dead! I s-saw it-"
He broke off, burying his face in his hands again. Ginny came forward this time to stroke his hair soothingly. "Shhh…" she whispered, gently, even though her voice was shaking. "It's okay, Harry. Calm down."
Hermione felt dizzy and confused. No, she thought, No… Ron can't be dead… She felt sick, and she was certain that the room was spinning. She looked up at Harry, whom Ginny was kissing, as tears rolled down both their cheeks, and knew that this wasn't a lie. She tried to stand up, but felt like she had no energy left, and swayed on the spot. As she fell backward, Luna and Neville rushed forward and caught her. They stood her up straight, and she held onto Luna for support.
Hermione felt tears of disbelief spring to her eyes and shook her head. "No! It c-can't be true…" She moaned, "It j-just can't b-be!"
She wrenched herself out of their grips and ran out of the common room. She sprinted down the staircases, and didn't stop until she reached the Great Hall. Her body shook with pain as she stepped inside, screaming at what she saw.
Hundreds of bodies were laying on tables all around her. Blank faces staring up into space. Terrified at what she would fine, she started to walk up the aisles, tears streaming down her face. She gasped as she saw the bodies of Remus, Tonks, and Fred all laying next to each other. She stopped in front of them for a moment, before she turned and caught sight of a red haired boy sprawled on a nearby table. Hermione ran towards him and stopped when she saw it was, indeed, Ron. Her legs felt like jelly, she swayed slightly and collapsed on top of Ron's lifeless body, burying her face in his chest, sobbing into the red material of his sweater.
She felt as though all the life had been drained from her, all her strength. How could this happen? She thought desperately, To Ron, of all people! Her heart felt empty and hollow, like a dead weight inside of her. Never again would she hear Ron's voice or see his face again after tonight. She already missed him so much. Her whole body shook as the choked sobs and moans escaped her throat, ringing loudly in the empty Great Hall. She had loved him so much, and she knew that he had loved her as well. It wasn't fair.
Suddenly, she felt two sets of hands on her shoulders, pulling her off of Ron. Hermione struggled against them, not wanting to leave him, but they just pulled harder, and she whimpered, "No! Stop!"
After another second of tugging, she turned to see Ginny and Harry.
"Hermione…" Ginny said softly, "It's late. You should come back to the common room and get some rest."
Hermione could barely see through her tears, but she breathed in, calming herself. "No." She said, turning back to Ron.
"Hermione-" Harry protested.
"No!" she cried, the sobs starting again, "I c-can't leave him! I just can't! I l-love him!"
Ginny had tears streaming down her face as well as Harry. She moved towards Hermione slowly.
"Listen," Ginny said gently, "I miss him too. I miss him so m-much… He was my b-big brother, Hermione. I loved him too, and I-I wish I c-could bring him b-back…" Ginny broke off, to sob quietly into her sleeve for a minute. "But you know what? I can't bring him back. I c-can't. There's n-nothing anyone can d-do for him now. I'm sorry…."
Hermione looked down at Ron's white face, her hand reaching out to stroke his cheek. He had been so full of life, and laughter. And yet, here he lay, cold, dead, and lifeless. It seemed beyond wrong… so beyond wrong, that someone so wonderful could be taken from the world like that. Someone that she had loved so much. She could still feel his lips on hers from earlier when she had kissed him. She could remember the feeling of bliss that she had experienced when he had lifted her off her feet as he kissed her. He had always made her feel warm inside, and they'd always been bound to fall in love. She smiled at him through her tears, and bent down, her lips trembling, and kissed him. She hugged his body to hers, as she kissed him one last time.
As she pulled out of the kiss, she stood up, turning back to Harry and Ginny. Ginny's face was red and blotchy, but she managed a smile. Hermione looked at her, her face screwed up in agony, and Ginny pulled her into a hug. Hermione had never felt so grateful towards Ginny before, as she cried into her shoulder. She felt her legs give out under her, and Ginny sank to the flood with her, never letting go. Harry bent down beside them, and patted her on the back soothingly.
"I'm sorry, Hermione." He said, his voice shaking a bit, "I know how much he loved you."
"I love him too." She replied, "More than anything… How am I supposed to go on with my life? Knowing what we could have had? It's not fair!"
Her voice broke on the last word, Ginny looked at her. "I know it's not fair… It's horrible… But you just have to find a way to keep going on with your life. We'll help you, we'll all help each other. I promise. It'll be okay."
Hermione calmed herself, wiping her eyes. "I miss him so much."
"I know. I do too." Ginny said, as they all stood up. She put an arm around Hermione's shoulder. "C'mon. You need sleep. We all do. It's been a long day."
Hermione let Ginny lead her back to the door, Harry following behind. She blew a kiss to Ron before leaving, and whispered "Good night. I love you." Under her breath.