I'll Forgive Her Later...
Warnings: Mild Language, Strong Violence, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme
Genres: Drama, Angst, AU Era: Post-Hogwarts
Pairings: Ron/Hermione Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." - Norman Cousins
*Challenges from HPFF: slytheringinny's 'An Anti-Heroic Death' challenge, Lunnah's 'One-Shot Quote Challenge' challenge.*
Author's Note: This story goes well with Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You :)
For those who don't know: heat lightning is the name for the flashes of lightning from far away thunderstorms that have no accompanying thunder because the sound waves dissipate before they reach you. However, just because those strikes might be far away does not mean it's safe to go out. Positive lightning happens more at the end of winter storms and is a rare strike that comes from apparently clear or only slightly cloudy skies (ie. out of the blue).
Let this be a reminder to everyone: think about what you're doing even when you're angry. Also, bad things can happen at any moment, so remember to tell those you love that you do!
I remember thinking 'she deserves something better than a hole in the ground.' It's not something I ever thought I would have to plan you know? I always figured she'd out last me any day of the week. She always was the better one at well… everything. But now she's dead, she's dead and I'm still here. It's mental…
Her final resting place is this monolith, bearing the epitaph:
Hermione Jean Granger
Daughter, Friend, Magical
The Greatest of Us All
Something grand built in her honor. She was getting the heroic burial she rightly deserved.
Her death, well... that's another story. Her death was something no one expected would happen, could happen. We all expected her to die at the hands of some Death Eater or in a great battle during the war, not by lightning.
Lightning. The most intelligent and powerful witch of her age dies from a lightning strike because she was too headstrong to come inside during a storm.
"It's only a light rain now, a drizzle," she had said to me.
"Bull," I had replied.
The rain didn't bother me; it had been raining all day from the early winter storm passing over the area. Nah, it was the heat lightning going on in the distance that bothered me. The lightning which she so arrogantly insisted was not dangerous.
"What would you know about heat lightning anyway Ron? It's not like it's written on the back of a chocolate frog card!" We'd been fighting that day. Something not entirely new, but that day had been real bad.
I wanted to sort my collection of chocolate frog cards to include my new ones, but she wanted to practice some new spells. Somehow, I really don't remember the exact moment, she managed to spill a bottle of butterbeer all over the table and across several dozen of my cards. And then she, in her stubborn and belligerent fashion, walked out of the house. After a few choice words on my part sure but, to my credit, they had been justified.
When she said it had been a mistake to move in together, I told her to just go ahead and leave. Which she did. And I, like a sod, just let her do it. I left her out there. I cleaned up her mess and went back to sorting my cards. Just to give myself something to do, you know? So I wouldn't have to think about her... to cool down I suppose. It was maybe an hour before I noticed she hadn't come back in yet.
I really hadn't wanted to call her back inside though, I was still mad at all the damage she'd done. Damage she wasn't even sorry for. "Let her get sick for all I care," I remember I'd said. But the lightning changed my mind.
The storm had, pretty much, already crossed over the house, yet there was a loud crack nearby that bothered me just enough to go to the window and yell out at her to get back inside. If only I had actually gone out to tell her instead of yelling through that stupid window, if only I… maybe I could have helped her, gotten help... But now, she's dead because of some random accident and a stupid fight. She died angry and alone in our yard because she'd been using her wand during a storm and I was too stubborn to go out and say sorry…
"What was she thinking?" I'd asked at the funeral, not really meaning to.
"You know how Hermione is... was... when she was mad at you Ron, just headstrong. Got in the way of her better judgment this time." Harry answered the question as if I'd actually wanted a response, but I nodded anyway. It was good to have him there…
Everyone was there. Her parents, Harry, mum and dad and the whole family, Remus and Tonks, Hagrid, Moody, Luna, Neville and Hannah, Susan… and that was just the first two rows around her... coffin. Everybody extended way back, filled nearly the whole cemetery I think. It looked like half the school was there to honor her. It was really something... The magnitude of her death even brought out Rita Skeeter, who swore to me that she'd find out the truth behind Hermione's death.
You see, I hadn't actually told everybody the truth. I'd told most of them that she had gone outside to check on some weird noise and, when she didn't come back, I found her body in the garden. I only told Harry, my family, and hers the real story. That we'd been arguing, that she had refused to come back in, that she'd been dead outside in our yard for a good half hour before I had finally gotten off my ass again to drag her back inside whether she liked it or not…
It looked like she was sleeping when I found her; lying in the grass just a few yards from the door. Her arm was outstretched - it kind of reminded me of when she'd been petrified in our second year. It was only later, when the medical witches from St. Mungo's had shown up, that I learned the lightning had fused her joints together in that position. It was due to the combined force of whatever spell she had been working and the positive lightning that struck her they said. One of them had to explain to me what 'positive lightning' meant and that's when I started to realize I could never turn to her for answers anymore. That's when it all struck me down too…
I overheard them talking about how her wand had become just a burnt stick fused to her hand and I was sick when I heard about what they would have to do to get her back into a 'regular' position. It was something I couldn't handle. Even as I led the pallbearers carrying her casket into the monolith, I couldn't handle it. Any of it…
So I just stayed angry. Angry at the storm, angry at the muggle 'God', but mostly… angry at her. Now, as I stared down at her casket while everyone else left, Harry said something about not being able to stay angry forever. "I know mate," I said to the empty room. "I'll forgive her later."
Author's Note: Please remember to leave me a review and let me know what you thought of this. Your reviews are helpful in letting me know where I may need to improve. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of, nor affiliation with, any of the pre-existing creative works this story is based upon; I am not making money off of my writings, and no copyright infringement is intended. This story is a work of fiction and is meant to be read as a form of entertainment from one fan to others.