A/N: Here's another drabble-ish oneshot that got lodged in my brain the other day. I couldn't get it out, and it kept me from working on my other stories, so I present to you yet another Harry Potter oneshot! I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Nothing owned, nothing earned. Entertainment purposes only. Thanks!
If The Worst Should Happen
-A 'Harry Potter' Fanfic-
She clutched the envelope in trembling fingers. They were wrinkled and gnarled with age, and her whole frame shivered in the cold of the cemetery. The mourners had moved on, and she was left alone. Even the children had taken the grandchildren back to the house to leave her in peace.
Her eyes rested on the mound of disturbed ground before her. The headstone was lovingly charmed, crafted to represent who he had been, and she knew he would be pleased with it. Thinking that, however, had brought back memories she rather wished she could forget.
Tears filled her eyes and spilled out, dripping down her wrinkled cheeks, kissing the corners of her mouth, and falling to the grass in front of her. Thinning gray hair waved in the harsh wind of January, and she bit her lower lip in contemplation.
The pain was enough to kill her itself, and considering how many had gone before her, she almost wished it would. Death would be preferable to living alone now, and she wanted nothing more than to be with those she loved. Oh, her family would be with her; the children and grandchildren would be paying close attention to her now that he was gone. But the grandchildren were older now, dating, graduating Hogwarts, enjoying their social lives, and that was how it should be. And the children were busy with jobs and families; they couldn't be expected to be around all the time.
She looked at the grave again and the ones next to it. Three of them, and they were all gone. Her heart clenched again, and she thought of the other graves she knew to be nearby. The one behind his, where his parents were buried, and four graves to the left, where the rest of their family lay. In a diagonal nearby even her own parents rested, and many of the former Order members lay in peace scattered across the plot. Even the most powerful wizard the world had seen since before Harry Potter's time was buried here now.
Her back ached, and she pressed a wrinkled palm to her lower back, willing the pain away. Shuffling a few steps away, she sat on the stone bench perched across from his grave. Of course they would put a bench here, so spectators could come for years to see the great saviors of the Wizard world. But no one knew the saviors like she did.
And no one ever would again. Oh, her family would remember and tell tales. The legends of the Gryffindor Golden Trio had been long a part of Wizard lore now, and children still played their games of Harry Potter and Voldemort. She had listened to another pair just the other day, the younger arguing that the older always got to be Harry.
Old eyes gazed at the tombstone before her and then down to her lap where the pristine white envelope lay, marring the black of her skirt. The words on the front spelled out her name in the cherished handwriting, and she fought back the tears. She turned it over and read the cruel writing on the back, 'If the worst should happen.'
She thought about that. The worst certainly had happened. These last few years had been miserable, those last months almost unbearable. She could still remember how he looked, frail body lying in bed, eyes milky white and unfocused. His grip in hers was so weak she could barely feel him, and his breathing was labored, slow, and slowing still. The end had come slowly for him, and in a way, that was almost more torture for her than she could bear.
Her hand slid over to hide the wretched words. He'd made her promise not to read it till the very end. She wished it had never come, wished she'd been able to leave him and not the other way around. But then again, she couldn't truthfully wish that. Everyone he loved was already gone; he needed someone who would stay with him until his time was up. And she was the only one who could.
She pulled on the envelope. It was so worn now from her careful handling of it over the months that it gave easily at her touch. She opened it and pulled out the parchment, unfolding it gently. The strong handwriting was there, just as she remembered it, and she almost sobbed, remembering the man behind the handwriting.
You cannot imagine how much it hurts me to know I cannot be with you any longer. If we'd only known this illness was a problem for Wizards, we could have researched it, learned how to stop it, cured it. You are so smart, and I know you would have done everything in your power to spare me from it.
I wanted so many more years with you, years with our family, with the ones we loved. But mostly, I wanted you. Everyone else left me at some point or another, but you remained with me through it all.
My parents never wanted to leave, nor did Sirius. Remus, Tonks, Dumbledore, Moody, everyone who died in the war were all so important to me. And I loved them all even though I hate that they were sacrificed so that we could have freedom.
The Weasleys, oh the family I never had, they were so special to me. You know this; you watched it all and saw how they fell. Fred was gone first, and then Bill, Fleur, Molly, Arthur, all dead to that horrible disease. George was murdered, and I still want to kill the person who did it, even if we don't know who it was. The twins were like older brothers I'd never had, so full of energy and enthusiasm. And then Charlie and Percy, dead as well.
What hurt more was Ginny, I think. She always held a place in my heart, even if we didn't end up together. I know everyone was shocked when she broke it off, but you knew, didn't you? You always knew that we wouldn't work out. I didn't need another Mrs. Weasley.
I was so happy for her and Dean, even if they were a rather unconventional couple. You know how much I hoped they would love each other and have the peaceful life we all wished for. But when she got sick, I was heartbroken. She was my little sister, and I couldn't stand the thought that someone else was leaving. Even Dean and Seamus, such close friends, hurt when they died.
But Ron was probably the worst. He and Luna had only gotten together when it happened, and they were going to be a beautiful couple. He was the brother and best friend I always needed, and yet, I never expected him to be killed. If only the train hadn't derailed, he might still be here with Luna and all the children they wanted to have, another Weasley family to keep you company when I'm gone.
I love you. I sit here, thinking about what the Mediwitch said, that I shouldn't have much longer before I'll be gone. I don't want to think about how that will be, to be there but not be there because of this wretched illness. I admit I'm afraid, but I know it won't be as hard on me as it will on you.
Indulge me my selfishness, my darling. I can't afford to have you leave me, too. It would truly kill me. Everyone I've ever loved has abandoned me but you, and even though I hate to abandon you now, I can't help but be thankful that you are still there for me. You, who have been through everything with me, are the one I want with me the most at this time in my life.
I just wish that I could save myself now, so that we could share more time with one another. So that you won't have to watch me lose myself. So that you won't be forced to help me remember. So you won't be hurt by me, too. Because I know, even if you won't admit it to yourself, that you're afraid. Everyone you've ever loved has left you, too. And you don't want to be left alone.
Oh, I know the children will come and visit, and the grandchildren will be around to take care of and spoil. But it's not the same. It's not the same when they've never been where we have, when they don't understand who we are. They will always be there to give you love and care and affection, but I know you long for the days when we were younger. When you and I and Ron formed the Golden Trio.
Oh Hermione, I can't believe I would forget something so important as you. It tears me apart inside to think that you'll be caring for me as I forget you and our lives together! I want to stay by your side forever and die together with you. I want to watch our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow old. I never, ever want to forget.
How ironic is it that the Savior of the Wizard World would lose himself to a mere Muggle disease? And even more so that he would forget everything that made him who he was? It just makes me so angry! My life, my memories, those precious things that I held higher than almost anything else will be stripped from me, and I'll be no more than a baby, lying in a bed, unaware and uncaring that my wife, who I cannot remember, is making sure I eat properly and get enough sleep.
It's so wretched, and yet, I want to get it over with. Hermione, I'm tired. We've both lived a long time, and we've shared our lives together. I was never more satisfied than on the day we married. And when James was born, I think my joy was complete. To see him in your arms, such a tiny baby, I loved you more than ever before, and I couldn't help but celebrate the family I always wanted.
Now that the end is near, I can't help but want to leave soon, knowing you and our family, remembering those I loved and lost. I would give anything to just fall asleep peacefully one evening and never wake again, even though I know it would hurt you. I am an old man, Hermione, and I've lived my life. My time is over, and soon I'll be back among our friends and family again.
You're the last person I would want to leave behind, but I love you even more knowing that you'll be here for me till the end. If there was a way to leave together, I would do it, but if not, I will be content in your loving kindness towards me as you care for this feeble old man.
And when you join me, Hermione, there will be celebrations the likes of which no one ever heard of. Can you imagine it? We'll be together again, the Golden Trio once more, with all our friends and family. You'll meet my parents, and we'll be with Sirius and Dumbledore, and all those who went on before. Hermione, I'll be waiting for you, no matter what. That's a promise.
So now we come to the end of my letter. I would write you a book if I thought it could express my heart better, and I know you'd have it memorized in a day. Before I end this, I wanted to explain why I ask you not to read it until after my death.
The Mediwitch said this disease would cause me to forget everyone, even you. You know how much that burns me up inside, but what I'm most afraid of is that you'll forget who I once was. I need you to remember me, Hermione, the real me that no one else saw. I need you to keep my memory alive in your heart while you live because that is the only way we'll find each other again.
Hermione, if I turn into the senile fool I fear, I want to leave something behind that you can cling to, and this is all I can think of. Even if you only have days left, though I hope you live a long time, I want you to remember me, Harry Potter the man you loved, and not Harry Potter the old fool you nursed.
I wish I never had to forget, but, Hermione, if the worst should happen, please remember for me. Remember how I loved you and wanted to take care of you. Remember our wedding day and the joy we shared. Remember our home and the time we spent just sitting together reading and reminiscing. Never forget that, Hermione; never forget me. Because, in the end, I'll always be yours.
I love you, my dearest, sweet Hermione, and I always will. This is not the end but the beginning of yet another adventure. I'll always wait for you, my love, my darling, my wife.
Her tears marred the page that already was speckled, probably from his tears falling as he wrote. Her heart had clenched as she read the letter he left behind, and she remembered, as he requested, the man she loved. His green eyes sparkling as he moved in for a kiss, his tousled hair tempting her after they'd woken up, his overjoyed shout when she agreed to a broom ride.
She remembered their first date in Hogsmeade on the Memorial Day after Voldemort's destruction. She remembered their wedding in the Burrow backyard, with the wildflowers and the simple ceremony. She remembered avoiding crowds that wished for autographs and sneaking into back alleys for a kiss when they knew no one was looking.
Her legs drew strength from her memories of love and joy as she stood, and she shivered no more. Holding the letter in her hands, she looked fondly at the tombstone before her.
"I will remember," she said to no one in particular, "and I will see you again."
Then she turned and made her way out of the cemetery, not looking back, for it was only a grave. The real man behind the grave was gone, but his memory would always remain till she was with him once again.
A/N: If you can't figure out the disease, ask me in a review, and I'll tell you. And as to the pairing, I can't help myself. I don't appreciate Hermione and Ron pairings in general because I just don't think they're compatible. To me, Harry and Hermione are much more compatible. Anyway, I hope you liked the story, and please feel free to let me know what you thought in a review. Thanks for reading!
Until next time...