He was scrawling the letter, purposeful scratches upon the parchment. Indentations in the cream coloured sheaf, green ink slick against the paper.
His palms were sweaty: the quill kept sliding out of his hand, and he cursed every so often, crossing a word here or there. Pausing to allow himself to think, before crumpling up the paper and starting again.
His eyes were glancing to the time on the clock: it was steadily increasing from its vantage on the mantlepiece. The fire burned heartily in the fireplace, casting a warm glow around the room: but he couldn't get warm. A thousand fires couldn't thaw the fist of ice clenched inside his stomach. It was like someone had sucked the breath from his lungs: his eyes were blurred with tears which sank into the leaves of parchment on the desk. He let the quill fall from his hand as his tears finally spilled over, the last of his words blurred upon the page, still legible, but watermarked.
This is goodbye, he thought. The last time.
He remembered all the times they had, and knew, if he didn't survive this: at least she knew how he felt.
He signed the letter in his typical script: large, and overstated. His name taking up the last quarter of the page, with a simple message before it. The simplicity but enormity of the content of the letter was spectacular. He didn't fight for a cause he didn't believe in: he protected her. He fought for her, from behind enemy lines. Because ultimately, he was the enemy.
He sealed it in an envelope and stuck it in his pocket, and walked to the Room of Requirement one last time. For a different kind of betrayal this time...
'Weasley. Stop. You don't know what you're do-'
'Oh don't I, Malfoy?' He spat viciously. 'After all these years, you should have known it would be me to end this. After everything you've done to Hermione,' his eyes narrowed as Draco tried to speak, his eyes spilling over.
His voice cracked as he shouted over Ron, 'Just stop! Please!'
'Its a bit late to say you're sorry. Avada Kedavra.'
Thud. The body dropped to the floor, tears still spilling out from the gaping, vacant eyes. The mouth of the dead boy was turned downward... if Ron hadn't known better he could have sworn he had muttered Hermione as he fell. The pale blonde hair was sweaty and dirty: blood matted it from a blow to the head. There were various gashes across his face, and his robes and shirt were ripped and seeping blood. Precious, pure blood. Pureblood. The very thing this whole battle was about, Ron thought angrily.
Ronald Weasley wiped his sweaty forehead and poked his wand into the dead Malfoy's chest.
'Looks like I got the last laugh, Death Eater.' He snarled, his face uncharacteristically vicious and coarse: his voice was thick with pain and bloodlust as he felt around in the dead wizard's robes for his wand, wanting to snap it, to finish off the job. He grasped a sheaf of paper shoved inside the pocket of his robes.
It was a letter with... with his girlfriend's name on.
The breath was knocked out of him for a minute, wondering if this was a trick.
He could hear Malfoy's smart-arse laughter in his head, some cruel joke of a replay. No, he breathed... she couldn't.... he wouldn't have...
This is because of Lavender. Because I cheated on her. His angry thoughts flamed in his head, as he punched the floor beneath him, sinking to his knees.
He turned the letter over a few times in his hands, expecting it to disappear, half knowing it never would. If only I hadn't been so stupid...
He carefully tore open the envelope, and decided to read it.
When I first met you, I saw your hair. I actually thought you were a magical creature at first: I thought your hair was too big for you to be a human. I have come to realise you are more human than anyone else on this planet: and also that nobody deserves magic more than you do. You know how hard words are for me to fit together pleasantly. And you also know I'm not very good with feelings. So you'd be okay to assume this letter is just going to be a load of Hippogriff shit, and stop reading. But I wish you'd read on. Because then you would know why I still carried on with my mission.
I was only 11 when I started this school, and up until then, my education and view of the world and its contents had been supervised and monitored by my father. Every time I started to realise something was wrong about the way he thought, he'd obliterate my memory of it. I suppose he did that to my mother, too: so she no longer knew what was her own mind and where his began. Not that that is any excuse for how I behaved towards you. I was awful.
Yes, you're a mudblood. But you're also the greatest witch of our age. You're the best at every single class, and 13 OWLS is just... phenomenal. I used to resent you your intelligence. I was never as good as you, but I always strived to be your equal. Which infuriated my father, and inturn made me hate you more for the beatings I got (sickly, I blamed you). I mean me! Your equal!
I could never compare to you. But, somehow, we became Head Boy and Head Girl of Hogwarts. I couldn't understand it, to be honest. Potter always seemed to have Dumbledore's favour...
But I digress.
Hermione, what I mean to say is... You found me and changed me when i was in such a dark place. I was where nobody could reach me: forsaken, discarded and abandoned by both sides of this war as a lost cause. You didn't see me as a cause though, did you?
No, you saw me as a boy: a person. You saw me as someone who needed help. You followed me out of the Great Hall, and into the bathroom. You waited outside the cubicle until I stopped cursing and swearing and came out of there. You held me in your arms as I cried. My heart was broken and healed in the very instant you told me that it was ok. It broke and was fixed for the same reason: I felt loved. You didn't leave when I told you I was on a mission for Voldemort. Or even when I showed you my mark. You simply said 'He knows'. And we left it at that.
You saw me as someone you could possibly have called a friend. I was vulnerable and you were there. You were broken and I helped you through.
I remember sitting up with you the night that you and Ron finished, after you saw him with Lavender. I told you how much of a tit 'Won-Won' was to have done that to you. I nearly said 'I never would have done that to you..' I nearly kissed you. i almost did. But I was too scared. Stupid that, isnt it? I'm not scared of Voldemort, but a Gryffindor nerd. Ha!
Granger, you changed me. You made me see that things aren't always set in stone: that things change.
That mistakes don't always mean that they are unforgiveable. That the past can be changed if the people change.
But most importantly that love is worth fighting for. You can fight for Ron, and for the Light.
But please know, I will always fight for you. Hermione Granger, I love you. I wish things had been different, and that I had had a choice in how I was raised, and who I became. But never doubt my love for you, for it is the only thing that will remain when I'm gone, as no doubt one of the Order, if not Harry or Ron has killed me personally.
Yes, I let the Death Eaters into school. I also fought against them, ambushed them, trapped them. Tricked them into believing they were safe.
I did that all for you, that you and your friends might survive and kill Voldemort, and have a chance at peace.
I love you.
P.S Sorry about my awful handwriting. And the letter. I don't have much time and theres so much i want to say, I need to say. I can sum it up in two words though, if you want:
Ronald Weasley blinked tears away from his eyes.
He had killed an innocent man. His mind was reeling, the letter in his hand forgotten as it was crumpled up and shoved inside the pocket of his robe.
He'd never let her read it.
The sun was setting through the stained glass window, casting pretty shadows onto the wall, the colours vibrant and alive. I'm really going to miss this, Hermione thought, brushing a single silver tear from her cheek.
Hermione Granger was packing up, ready to leave Hogwarts for the final time.
This last year had been the best... and the worst.
It was awful, the empty Head common room... she'd moved back to Gryffindor. It was unbearable, almost like he was still there...
She glanced around her room one more time, before hearing a near silent, tentative knock on the door.
'Come in,' she breathed, her voice light and airy. Sad.
'Mione.' Harry came in, seeing her weepy eyes, and embraced her in a vice-like bear hug. He really looked like his father now, she thought.
'I found this in the dorm. It was on Ron's bed.' He paused, his eyes meeting hers. Hermione and Ron had ended rather messily after the Battle for Hogwarts. He'd accused her of cheating. And she hadn't... She refused to think of him.
'Oh, erm. Thanks, Harry. I think.' Her words were disconnected. Her cheery voice sounded false and plastic to her ears: she could only wonder what she sounded like to Harry.
'I didn't read it. I, uh, need to go say goodbye to Gin now.' He grinned wolfishly, a glint in his eye that was mischievous and sweet: he was still a boy at heart. Young, innocent and free at last.
She sat on the bed, and began to read the letter.
She almost heard his voice speak as she read.
Like he was talking to her. Like he was still there.
It was dark now, and she found herself lying on his bed in the Head's Dorm. It was the only place that was quiet, not full of the lively buzz and chatter of students.
His room still smelt of him.
She found a robe, not taken away after his death, and lay wrapped up in it. Her tears silently caressed her face, as the two most important words in the whole world imprinted themselves on her eyes.
In her dreams. In her nightmares.
She knew whenever she closed her eyes, she'd see his face. Whenever she dreamt, she'd see his face, hear his voice.
She picked herself up off the bed, carrying the robe with her. She noticed people giving her strange looks as she walked purposefully from the Heads Dorm to the lake, where the graves were.
Where his silver white grave was pitched.
She lay the letter upon his grave, used the spell he'd taught her to create attacking canaries to create a flock of doves and set them free as the moon rose above the clouds.
'I'm forever yours.' She breathed, her heart heavy and hollow, as she walked away.