Do you think that Wormtail would really do something that noble and bold?  I dunno.  It just seemed to fit.  I mean, what else would he do with that life debt?  Dumbledore did say that Harry would be very glad he saved Pettigrew's life…I could be wrong, of course…

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  *runs and hides behind bomb shelter* Don't hurt me, please, I am just an innocent bystander, Ron Luver!!!  (Okay, okay, maybe not that innocent…*evil grin*)  By the way, did you look at the pic?  *dreamy eyes* OH NO!!!!  *bashes head against wall* x.X;;; Okay, so I've got to admit, Ron would probably make a better lover than Harry…Oh, dear.  I just actually thought about how old Alex and Ron are.  Alex is fourteen, and Ron is…Ron is sixteen. (Yeah, for those of you who didn't know, his birthday's in March…)  All Crissy said was, "Early bloomers…?", and Lynn just calls it sexual assault.  Oh dear.  Then I asked Crissy what makes her think I would be that aggressive, and she just whistled innocently.  On second thought, I don't even want to know…oO;;;;

Ah, well, we all knew this moment would come sooner or later.  I know it's sad, but we'll have to deal.  Now, I'd like to dedicate this chapter to my friend Kileean on his 13th birthday on July 31st.  Yes, what a wonderful day for all Harry Potter fans…YAY!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY!!!!  Dammit, and of course, my mother has to ruin it by scheduling a frickin dentist appointment on such a sacred day…DEATH TO DENTISTS!!!!  GGRRRR!!!!  It's bad enough with braces, I mean really…*sigh* Okay, how did I manage that?  I somehow managed to cram three different subjects into three sentences…if you can call those sentences…oO; Somehow I managed to get way off the original subject…Oh, well.  Happy birthday, Kileean.  Ignore me.  Anyway, here's to all my wonderful friends and reviewers…enjoy the final chapter of Silent Tears!

Silent Tears

Part XIII:

Nightmare Come True

"What's comin', will come, and we'll meet it when it does."

Harry wondered bitterly if Hagrid had put all of his heart into this statement when he said it last year.  He wondered if Hagrid had had any idea of what was coming, and whom it would involve.  Harry thought of this time last year, just after Cedric Diggory's death, after he had barely escaped with his life.  How ironic, he thought, for Voldemort to fall again a year after his resurrection, only to be reduced to what he had been for thirteen years once again, and from the same cause.

It was without a doubt the most miserable end of the year Harry had ever experienced, perhaps the most miserable days of his entire life.  Ron and the rest of the Weasleys were devastated, to say the very least.  One couldn't walk past any of them without noticing how pale each of them looked, every one of their freckles standing out startlingly black like an ink dot, the sparkle gone from their normally cheerful eyes, their red hair the only colour to be seen, how grey and sad they all looked.  Left shocked and dispirited from their family tragedy, they rarely spoke and all three of them, even the twins, constantly looked close to tears.  Ron walked from class to class in a sort of dazed attitude, while Fred and George kept their eyes on the floor, never making eye contact with anyone.  Silence rang in the halls as loudly as gonging bells, deprived of the usual chatter and laughter usually brought on by the Weasley brothers. 

Harry himself avoided Ron's gaze as well, not that he needed to.  Ron wasn't speaking to him, though he had assured Harry that he didn't blame him in the slightest.  Harry had not yet told anyone of the last words Ginny had spoken to him, nor did he ever intend to.  They haunted him in his sleep, echoing across the dark and barren space of his mind when he tried to sleep at night; he recalled them in class, over his teachers' dronings; they repeated themselves constantly at mealtimes when he only jabbed absently at his food, the voice never relenting.  Harry hadn't slept in weeks, since her death.  At night was when he heard them the most.

"I love you, Harry…"

Every night when he tried to sleep, it was only to be jerked back awake by the harsh green light, drenched in icy cold sweat, to dwell on her voice …

*********

"Ginny sacrificed her life for you, Harry.  Just as your mother did.  You should be thankful that you have people like that in your life that love you that much," Dumbledore told him gently.

"Yes, but not anymore!" Harry burst out irrationally.

"That is not true, and you know it, Harry," Dumbledore admonished kindly.  "Many people do still care for you, and always will."

"Yeah, but what if it's Hermione, or Ron, or Sirius—or you, Professor?" he demanded.

The headmaster considered him for long moments, eyeing him from over the rim of his half-moon glasses.  His blue gaze penetrated through Harry, probing his thoughts.  Then he sighed, and said to him,  "I am well aware of your concerns for your loved ones, Harry, and of your tendency to get stuck in very tight corners."  The corners of his mouth twitched slightly.  Dumbledore then looked at him very seriously, leaned forward, and continued, "You are right to put them first in your life.  However, there are some sacrifices that you must be prepared to risk.  And you must have faith in them to take care of themselves."

Harry dropped his gaze sullenly, promptly feeling as though he were a small child whom had just been severely scolded by their parents.

"And as I understand it…" Dumbledore began, changing the subject.  Harry looked up quickly.  "Wormtail is dead, is he not?"

Harry nodded slowly, wondering if Dumbledore meant what he thought he did.

"Which means…" 

Harry waited, listening anxiously.

"…Sirius is free."

Harry exhaled a deep sigh that seemed to come from the tips of his toes.

"Yes…" Dumbledore got to his feet and circled around his desk.  Harry watched him as he strode across the room to where Fawkes the phoenix stood on his perch, as elegant and as beautiful as ever.  He watched Harry peacefully, blinking serenely.  Dumbledore stroked the bird's golden feathers, frowning thoughtfully.  "I believe that once the Ministry is able to obtain this proof, Sirius will be capable of adopting you."

Harry said nothing.  His heart was pounding painfully fast.  It seemed that, amidst the never ceasing darkness, there was a tiny glimmer of light on a horizon that had never looked darker.  It was enough to almost banish the cheerless and drab feelings that had settled in his heart over the past few weeks.

"He will be in contact with you soon, I believe."  Dumbledore turned and began pacing in front of the window, then stopped and stared out over the darkening grounds, his hands clasped behind his back. 

"Professor," Harry began on tenterhooks.  "Why did the curse have that affect on Voldemort?  I mean, I know he's got my blood in him, so why did he…err…disintegrate like that?"

Dumbledore didn't reply for a few moments.  Then he turned and strode back to his desk and seated himself down again.

"It appears that I was correct," Dumbledore said at last.  "I knew last year that the potion he used to regain power would backfire. Just how and when, I could not tell…" He looked at Harry.  "Voldemort is a person who does not understand love, and the power that it generates.  For the love and protection in your blood protects you from evil, not from good.  Voldemort would only be protected if another evil force were to attempt to destroy him."  Dumbledore surveyed Harry more closely, taking note of the deep shadows under his eyes, his thin and fatigued face.  Harry dropped his gaze again, subtly aware of Dumbeldore's scrutiny.  "You are not looking like yourself, Harry," he said gently.  "Would you like to see Madam Pomfrey?  She could give you a sleeping potion…"

"No, it's alright, Professor," Harry answered vaguely.  "I'm fine…" 

That's what he had been telling people for days.  Are you all right, Harry?  Can I get you something?  No, he would answer, no, I'm fine.  But he couldn't ever remember feeling less fine, even during the Triwizard Tournament 

He knew he was being stubborn, that Ron and Fred and George had taken some, but he just couldn't justify leaving Ron alone in the dormitory, with no one there to comfort him.

**********

The days went by.  Day by dreary day, night by lonely night.  Ron was practically never in the dormitory, always in the hospital wing with Fred and George, unable to survive the nights without a sleeping potion.  Nonetheless, every morning upon awakening, they would still show signs of implausible nightmares, their expressions that of a waking dream.  If one looked into their eyes, the nightmare seemed to be real.

The end of term came and went.  The calamity level was almost unbearable for most.  On the train ride back to King's Cross Station, rain pounded relentlessly upon their backs, only reminding them of the dismal atmosphere.  Harry was going straight to the Weasleys' this summer, and he couldn't understand Dumbledore's sudden change of mind.  He must have thought it proper that Harry should be able to go to Ginny's funeral.

Her funeral would take place in a matter of days.  Mr and Mrs Weasley had come to Hogwarts to check up on the twins and Ron, and to see if they wanted to come home early, to which Dumbledore had whole-heartedly agreed.  Harry and Hermione had been welcome too, of course, but both them and Ron had been adamant.  They didn't want to leave until the end of term, which came and went.

They talked very little.  Ron stared expressionlessly out the window, and Hermione and Harry conversed quietly.  There wasn't much to talk about, nothing to say.  Not that they would have talked if there had been anything.  Both of them continuously shot him wary glances, as though worried he might pass out at any second.

The rolling hills were the only sure sign through the rain that they were leaving Hogwarts and fast approaching grazing fields.  The ride was rather dull, compared to the ride to Hogwarts…

A sharp rap on the door interrupted their heated argument over house elves.  Harry and Ron, try as they might, simply couldn't convince Hermione to give up her whole S.P.E.W. campaign.  She was adamant to the fact that she couldn't possibly be able to convince thousands of grown wizards to see a different angle, wizards whom had grown up used to the creatures unquestioningly going about their bidding, which made Hermione even more reluctant to give it up.

The trio looked up, surprised to see that it was the conductor, or someone who dressed very similar to him.  He was holding a parchment envelope in his hand.

"Mr Harry Potter?" the man asked tentatively.

"Yeah?" Harry asked, rising to his feet.

"Message for you, young man," said the man, handing the parchment to Harry.  He touched his fingers to his hat in salute and left the compartment.

"Who's it from, Harry?" Ron and Hermione asked together.

"It's from…Lupin," Harry said in bewilderment.

"What does it say?" Hermione asked, leaning over to him as he opened the envelope.

"It says…"  But suddenly, his eyes widened, and he reached out a cautious hand.

"What is it?" said Ron.

"It's a…"  He drew his hand out to show his friends the object that had materialized inside the envelope.  Hermione and Ron gasped.

It was a tiny silver orb, suspended on a delicate silver chain.  It gave off the impression that it was made of molten silver, because it appeared to be ever-changing, swirling around, even though it remained stationary.  It was a very beautiful thing, but its was a mysterious kind of beauty, a kind of beauty that was not to be understood by mortal beings.   Harry could feel the magic pulsing through his body as he clutched the tiny sphere in his hand.

"There's a note, Harry," Hermione said, handing him a piece of parchment that had undoubtedly fallen from the envelope in his excitement.  Harry took it from her and read aloud:

"Hello, Harry.

Lily received this token many years ago, the day you were born.  She meant to give it to you, when you were of age.  I think now is the right time.  It has extraordinary powers, and yet they will be revealed to you in time.  Wear it always, and know that your mother is always there.

Happy birthday, Harry.

Remus Lupin"

Harry looked up at Ron and Hermione, who were staring at him in astonishment.  They both knew what this must mean to him, when the only family heirloom he possessed was the Invisibility Cloak, if one could really consider that an heirloom.  Slowly, hesitantly, Harry lifted the chain and fastened it around his neck, all at once feeling the magic rush over him in an endless wave of ecstasy.  The magic tingled in his fingertips, caused his heart to swell several times its normal size.  It was a feeling of wonderful high, something that he couldn't have possibly accomplished any other way….

The train came to a screeching halt, jolting Harry from his reverie.  Absently, he clutched at the chain around his throat, wondering what magic it could perform.  He had almost entirely forgotten about it until now, the familiar scene jogging his memory.  Slowly, he and his friends rose to their feet, treading slowly to the platform and the torrential rain outside. 

Despair chanted heavily in their hearts as they climbed into a Ministry car that had been provided by Mr Weasley.  Harry, who had been feeling unaccountably awkward around the Weasleys since Ginny's death, found himself even more so in the company of her parents.  It jarred his heart to see the pain-stricken expressions on Mr and Mrs Weasley's faces.

*********

He stood in the cemetery of Ottery St. Catchpole, staring ahead unseeingly through the steady rain.  He heard nothing over the buzzing in his ears, didn't hear the funeral service or the speeches that followed.  A mist that hovered over the scene seemed to not only impair his vision but also block his hearing.  He was vaguely aware of a large black box being lowered into a hole in the ground.  A stone was placed at the head, a stone that read, Virginia Weasley, 1981-1996.  Dear, departed daughter.  She will be missed forever.  He dimly sensed Ron embracing Alex as both of them wept quietly.  Ron muttered something about avenging his sister's death, of forever destroying Lord Voldemort.  But for now, the Dark wizard only lingered in the world, unable to find the cowardly service of one of his followers, yet never to be killed.                                           

A charm was placed over the ground, and instantly, grass sprang up in place of the freshly over turned earth.  Hermione stepped forward and dropped a deep, blood red rose on the ground there, tears streaming silently down her face, and that was that.  

He stood there for an eternity that might have lasted hours, minutes, or even mere seconds for all he knew.  The only change he was aware of was people gradually departing for home, to return to their families. 

Harry indistinctly heard Hermione walk over to him and touch his shoulder, saying quietly, "Harry, we should go now…I know how you must feel, but please…"

But Harry ignored her, and eventually, she gave up.

When he was sure everyone was gone, Harry knelt down next to the grave.  His eyes filled with tears at last and streamed down his face unchecked as he gazed at the headstone that bore the name of his best friend's sister.  Brushing the grass away at the base of the stone, he pulled out his wand and murmured a few well-chosen words, placing the tip of his wand to the stone.

"Armenae uth Solaris."

A shimmering golden light streamed from his wand, emblazoning four words upon the solid grey rock.

I love you, too.  –HP

Harry straightened up, staring down at his work.  The girl that had been almost like the little sister he never had…he owed her that much.

Over the years, the grass will grow to hide the inscription he had written with such a heavy heart on such a dreary day.  Someday, someone would chance upon it and gaze wonderingly at the few brief words that held so much meaning.  That day, evil would be forever vanquished.

And as Harry slowly turned his back and walked with sagging shoulders back to Ron, the angels rained down silent tears.

The End

*takes really deep breath*  *expels really deep breath*  WHEEW.  I'm FINISHED.  Well, did you like?  I sure hope so, cuz it's not gonna get much better than this…joking, joking!  Do you think I made that ending a bit too dramatic?  Oh, well, that's me, Miss Melodramatic… oi vey.  I love you guys, you've been so much help and support!!!  Thanks to all the reviewers (yes, even you, Ron Luvr) for making me feel so special, and to my very bestest friends who have tolerated my obsession…ha, and only to get even more!!!   Yes, Silent Torment should be online in a matter of days, and I would've had this up sooner, but I had a family reunion to go to…oh, hi D.K.  *sweatdrop*   You little bastard, you had me in a headlock most of the time!  Yeah, bite me, I'm just so boring now, and I used to be so much fun…ok, ignore me.  Anyway, look for Silent Torment in a few days, this week I've got a theatre class that'll take up most of my day, but oh well, it's well worth it.  I'm actually looking forward to a little bit of a break…NOOOOO!!!  MUST…CONTINUE…WRTING….GAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!  Oh dear.  Ahem.  For all you Dragonlance fanatics  (hello!!!), I might be writing a Raistlin romance, so look for it.  It'll be titled Untold Desires or something to that effect.  Based on the time during the Chronicles.  When Fizban's with them and all.  (Isn't that guy hilarious?  "Where's my hat?  What's my name?"  Ha ha.  oO;)  It's NOT SLASH.  *shudders violently*  Crissy saw this one with Raistlin and Dalamar… GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!    *runs away and pukes*  Okay, I'm back.  It's late, so I better say good-bye.  See you in Silent Torment!  (Muhahahahahahaha!!!)

Ppl, don't forget to rate this fic 1-5, the whole thing, okies?  That way I know if this style is all right or if I need any improvements anywhere.  And I would appreciate it if you did so for The Red Rose, too.  Thank you!!!

Disclaimer:  Yeah, I know, it's a bit late for one of these, but I decided it was easier to put it here at the end anyway.  Most of these characters belong to J.K. Rowling, of course, as do many of the settings.  However, Alex, Crissy, Michelle, Lynn, and Eddie were all sort of created by me.  They're all actually modelled after real people (my friends, actually.  Yeah, who knew I was so cruel to my friends?  Ten bucks to whoever can figure out who Eddie is…*sweatdrop*  No, not really!  *double sweatdrop*).  For those of you who've read Cassandra Claire's fics, you'll notice that I got a lot of my ideas from her, but the Polyjuice thing was mine.  I started writing this a while before I read her fics.  My Draco is very similar to hers, for instance, as was the telepathy thing with Harry and Draco.  Anyway, some things also came from the Dragonlance saga, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a few other fics I've read.  I think that's all...see you next time!