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All he knows is that she was a young, fifth-year girl, born in Muggle London to non-magical parents, died in Hogwarts castle along hundreds of other innocents. She'd snuck into the castle heroically, another Gryffindor, and was murdered in the Great Hall itself, fighting. There is a single, blurry, moving photograph magicked to stick permanently onto her grave, revealing a short, thin, smiling girl, blinking prettily and brushing back a bushy mane of dark brown hair.

There is no name on her worn stone marker. This is what it has come to. Every single tombstone in this forsaken graveyard of those who were killed, who killed, who fought, is empty of words.

So many died that they no longer have been able to keep track of those who gave their lives for the ones that still exist today.

He does not know why this single grave, out of the tens, hundreds, thousands that surround him in this makeshift cemetery just outside Hogwarts castle, affects him so much. He is probably not even standing on top of where her body is buried. The cemetery is more of a mass grave, with tombstones conjured out of respect.

But the tell-tale tears that slide down his pale, guilty cheeks say otherwise.

"I'm sorry," he murmurs, barely audible. The wind whistles in his ears, steals away his voice into its emptiness. He glances at his inner forearm, at the ugly, scarred tattoo that remains there as a reminder of his sins, of his mistakes, of his victims.

A soft, cautious hand snakes around his waist, hugging him to the petite frame. "Come, Draco," Astoria whispers, pressing gentle, full lips against the side of his neck. He presses his face into her hair, inhales her scent of purity and apologies, and lets her lead him away from the past.



Inspired by the Killing Fields in Cambodia as a result of genocide. I was watching the Travel Channel and Samantha Brown visited the Killing Fields. Over 2 million people (mostly ethnic minorities and Cambodians who opposed Khmer Rouge) were tortured and killed there, some with hammers and bamboo sticks. Some were literally forced to dig their own graves. Immediately, like the nerd I am, I thought of Harry Potter.