2 TITLE: Bring On The Rain

AUTHOR: Julianne Thomas


DISCLAIMER: I own nothing—it all belongs either to JK Rowling or Jo Dee Messina.

SUMMARY: After the last has fallen, what is left for those who survive?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Dedicated with much love to Bria, who just made a difficult and heart-wrenching decision. Sweetie, I know you're reading this, and I just wanted you to know that I love you and I'm so proud of you for handling this the way you have, with grace and dignity. Here comes your rain, baby. I love you.

"Bring On The Rain" by Jules

"Another day has almost come and gone

Can't imagine what else could go wrong

Sometimes I'd like to hide away somewhere and lock the door

A single battle lost but not the war…"

"'Cause tomorrow's another day

And I'm thirsty anyway

So bring on the rain."

Finally, quiet reigned at the battle site. Hermione Granger walked carefully among the ruins, taking in the ghastly scene. Broken, smoldering debris, scorched patches of grass, and the bodies of those who had fallen.

There were so many. Seamus Finnigan, Padma Patil, Cho Chang…

Arabella Figg, Fillius Flitwick, Bill Weasley…

Minerva McGonagall. Albus Dumbledore.

Amid the sudden calm, Hermione felt a profound sense of loss.

She stopped and quietly mourned for each of her lost comrades, pausing to kiss Seamus's cheek, smooth McGonagall's robes, straighten Dumbledore's glasses.

"We'll all miss you, Padma."

"Cho…be at peace with Cedric."

"Bill, you were a wonderful brother—to them and to me. We love you."

"It's almost like the hard times circle round,

A couple drops, then they all start coming down,

Now I might feel defeated,

And I might hang my head,

I might be barely breathing, but I'm not dead."

"'Cause tomorrow's another day,

And I'm thirsty anyway,

2.1 So bring on the rain."

The others were gathering at the remains of the Hogwarts entrance gates. Hermione watched them, taking a mental inventory of the injuries everyone else had suffered, ignorant of her own cuts, bruises and fractured ribs.

She watched them silently, observing the battle between triumph and tragedy that warred on their faces, feeling the same struggle within herself. She saw Harry being checked and re-checked by a badly shaken Sirius and Remus, both of whom looked like they were reliving painful memories. She saw Ron, Ginny and the other Weasleys comforting each other. She saw Parvati and Dean holding each other, both mourning.

"And I'm not gonna let it get me down,

I'm not gonna cry,

And I'm not gonna lose any sleep tonight…"

It struck Hermione as funny—through the pain of loss was the tingle of success. They had banded together, pooling all their strength and power to achieve the impossible.

And they had done it. They had destroyed Voldemort—defeated him forever.

Hermione was drawn from her thoughts by the rumble of thunder. As she watched, clouds began to gather and lightening streaked the sky, illuminating the group that was moving toward her.

"But tomorrow's another day,

And I am not afraid,

So bring on the rain."

"Tomorrow's another day,

And I'm thirsty anyway,

So bring on the rain."

She felt Ron snake his arm around her waist, and she nestled against him, content to drink in his love for her. On her other side, Harry took her hand and squeezed her fingers gently.

The three stood as one, eyes to the sky as rain began to fall, washing them clean and filling them with a new hope for tomorrow.