Title: A Promise Kept
Summary: Death can't stop a husband's promise to his grieving wife, especially if that wife is Luna.
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author notes: I would like to thank my beta, Paige.
The rain felt like bullets on her ivory skin. She didn't shiver as the icy wind blew across her cheek, freezing the tears gliding down the smooth surface. Whispered words of sympathy echoed in her ears, but she couldn't hear the words over the buzzing. The wind grew colder and harsher as she stood rooted in place. Friends tried to lead her away, but she wouldn't leave. Some quietly asked her if she was ready to leave, but she kept mumbling the same words over and over again every time she was asked.
"Not yet. He promised."
A young red-haired woman walked slowly up the slope of the hill, her husband waiting silently for her return under a muggle umbrella. In respect to her friend, she matched her stance, but changed it too. Her arm came around the other woman in an embracing gesture. Resting her head lightly against her friend's, she turned so that her mouth could rest closer next to her ear and whispered.
"He loved you, so very much. You can't keep standing here. He wouldn't have wanted that. He would want you to enjoy your life and raise your children. If you continue to stand here in the rain and the wind, you will join him soon, and that's not what he wants you to do. Please come with me."
The young woman left her in peace after that. The grieving wife continued to cry as the rain bore down upon her. She didn't care anymore; all she cared about was the man that had been buried in the ground that afternoon. Exhaustion finally took over; she sank to the muddy ground next to the new mound.
"Why did you have to leave me? You promised to stay forever. You lied to me. To the children. How could you? Please come back. I never got to say goodbye. Please let me say goodbye. Please."
A cold feeling washed over as she lay on the mud. She turned her head for the first time that day away from the marble tablet. He stood before her, bathed in a soft glow of light. His messy black hair fell across his scar that made him famous so long ago. He smiled at her, but it didn't reach his eyes, as it should have.
"You can't do this. Please go home. Neville and Ginny are still waiting to take you back to the house. I'm in a good place. Mum, Dad, Sirius, and the entire Potter line are here. Your mother is too. She told me to tell you to get home and warm, also to look after the children properly. This isn't the end, honey. We'll meet again in a couple of years. When you are an old woman with wrinkles and too many grandchildren to count, let alone remember their names. Luna, please don't cry any more. I promise we'll see each other again, and I will be there to meet you."
As her husband of ten years spoke, she couldn't stop the flow of tears. Her vision blurred at the man, whom was her first in so many ways. He was her first true love, first kiss, and the first man to say 'I love you' to her. Harry walked toward her, he leaned down to pick her up, once she was firmly on her feet, began to wipe the tears from her cheeks, he held her close to him and whispered words that were meant to soothe her wounded heart.
"Luna I would have stayed, but I didn't fear death. As Albus Dumbledore told me once a long time ago, 'Death is just the next big adventure.' I'm ready for that adventure, I'm sorry that you can't come with me. But the children need one parent to love them and care for them. This isn't over yet. Far from it."
Luna's eyes had shut while he talked. But the moment didn't last long. Icy wind blew across her front, breaking her from the spell that had been weaved. She searched for any sign that said Harry had been there, but she found nothing. She leaned down to the plaque and placed a beautiful white rose on the top. Smiling to herself, she straightened her robes and walked down the hill to meet Neville and Ginny. She knew that she would survive, and that Harry would be with her every step of the way.