From L'amoureuse's 50 phrases challenge. Oh god, I don't know why I do these things to myself.
Title comes from the song 'Blackbird' by The Beetles, which, if you haven't heard it, I would recommend giving a listen to.
Warning: Drabble fic. Violence, character death, swearing, slash, het. There's probably more but we'll start off with those :P
Disclaimer: JKR owns Harry Potter, SK owns Dark Hunters.
"Seventeen and half alive."
A bitter chill bit into Harry's skin, deep enough to make his bones ache. Harry ignored it. He'd gotten a lot of practise at ignoring pain over his life.
Besides, he believed he sort of deserved the pain. It was like nature itself was punishing him for being alive, standing there over the graves of his first real friend and his entire family.
With dead eyes Harry traced his gaze over the large 'R' of Ron's name and silently wondered just when he had run out of tears.
Harry didn't turn or acknowledge Hermione. Instead he shoved his hands deeper in his pockets and hunched his shoulders, not so much against the wind but against the gaze he could feel burning the back of his neck.
Apparently his lack of response didn't deter her as she stepped up beside him.
They stood in silence until another harsh gust of wind caught them and Hermione shivered violently. Taking out her wand she waved it about herself then turned to face Harry.
"Here," she said quietly, her eyes downcast, "you'll catch your death if you stand out here much longer."
Harry felt the consoling heat of a warming charm settle around his shoulders and thaw out some part of his chest that had frozen solid. All of a sudden he found himself trembling with tears running down his face.
'Oh,' a small detached part of mind thought, 'that's where my grief went. The wind froze it.'
And for some reason he found this one of the funniest things he had come up with ever since this godforsaken war had started. He went to tell Hermione, but his throat was choking on body-shaking, hiccupping sobs and brittle, hysterical laughter and he could barely gasp enough air to breathe never mind talk.
Hermione seemed to know though, because Harry felt her slip her own trembling hand into his own and squeeze hard enough to bruise.
It wasn't until the sun had started to set that he managed to get just enough control over himself and stop the terrible sound being ripped from his soul.
"Harry," Hermione's voice was hoarse and fragile and so clogged with tears that it was an octave lower than it should have been. Harry hated the sound of it. Hermione should never know grief. Never know how to battle through it. "We should leave. Leave, get out the country. Someplace, anyplace."
Harry tore his gaze from the row of too-white headstones to face her for the first time. Her eyes were red-raw and puffy from crying. Tear-tracks streaked white down her cheeks; her skin was a pallid grey, harshly highlighted by the dying sun and her hair was greasy, lying flatter because it had gone without washing one day more than it should have.
But she was breathing and he could feel her pulse in his hand and for this, Harry thought she had never been more beautiful to him.
"Where?" Harry croaked out through grief-paralysed vocal chords.
She shrugged helplessly, her face crumpling once more and a tear streaking down her cheek. "Wherever." She swallowed and laughed feebly. "You're all I have, Harry. The only family I have left on this planet. Seventeen and half alive. We both are.
"We need to get out. Someplace where wherever we turn we won't be reminded-" she choked, her gaze flickering to her left to Ron's grave. "Do you know he proposed?" She sobbed, "He said he loved me and that when all this was done he was wanted everyone to know that the most beautiful witch he'd ever known was his."
Her knees folded and she sank to the floor, face buried in her hands. Harry fell with her and gathered her in his arms, pressing her face into the side of his neck and rocking backwards and forth.
"He promised!" Hermione shouted hitting Harry's chest with her closed fist, her other hand griping the back of his shirt like death couldn't tear her away, "He promised he wouldn't die! He promised to show me the world! He promised me his future! He promised everything would be okay! Why did he have to-" Her voice cracked and she dissolved into tears once again.
Eventually, after darkness had blanketed them, Hermione's tears subsided. She kept her face buried in the warmth of Harry's shoulder, soaking in the comfort and he still rocked her gently.
"Okay, Mione." Harry whispered into her temple, pressing his lips against the clammy skin, "okay. I'm here, I've got you, I'm here."