Harry Potter Is Dead
Ron was not there. Thank god for that, Hermione thought. As much as she cared for him, she was afraid of what he might have done if he had seen the things that she had seen.
She and Mr. Weasley Apparated to the rendezvous point in the dusty, abandoned attic of Weasley's Wizard Wheezed to find that their contact had not arrived yet. Neither of them had been happy about returning to this site, a place that had once been filled with memories of mirth and laughter, which now only brought to mind the pain of a wound that had not yet begun to heal.
George's bed had been stripped of its sheets, its mattress lying neatly against the wall opposite its naked frame; but at George's request, Fred's had been left exactly as it was the day the Weasleys had come to clear the last of their things from the long-abandoned shop. He had not bothered to make his bed, the last night that he had slept there, and a thick coating of dust covered the small table beside it. On top of which stood an old picture of the twins shooting away on the Hogwarts express, one of the experimental pranks the twins must have been working on at the time, and an old sock, forgotten in the rush to leave. Hermione watched Mr. Weasley warily as he leaned against the wall, suddenly several years older. He did not approach Fred's things, nor did he take his eyes off of them as the minutes ticked by.
"Cho should have been here by now." Hermione said at last in a feeble whisper. Mr. Weasley looked up at her as though he had just remembered that she was there.
"Yes, ah . . . " He seemed to bring his mind back to the task at hand. "Yes, I suppose you're right." He whispered back, pushing off of the wall and putting a hand up to his glasses, though there was no need to adjust them.
"Do you think something's happened?" Horrible images flashed through Hermione's mind. Not only had Cho Chang become valuable member of the Order of the Phoenix's resistance movement in the time since the Battle of Hogwarts, but in recent months, Cho had been very kind to Hermione. She did not want to think about what may have transpired since their last contact.
Mr. Weasley did not answer. Hermione could tell he wanted to give her some words of comfort, to tell her that Cho was probably just held up, but these were dark times. They could be sure of nothing.
Hermione looked at her watch. It was ten minutes past Cho's appointed arrival time; she was starting to worry. In desperation, Hermione peered though a crack in the boarded-up window and out onto the street, though she knew that Cho was due to Apparate directly to the attic. Both were fully aware that appearing in a crowded Diagon Alley, known to have previously fought alongside Harry Potter, could mean possible capture.
Hermione blinked. Diagon Alley had not been crowded in at least two or three years.
"Mr. Weasley," Hermione did not whisper; her voice quavered. "There are people out there. Crowds of them . . . all gathered around Gringotts."
It was not just the usual crowd of wandless beggars and the occasional dark wizard, only multiplied in numbers; instead a number of ordinary people ran about the alley. All wore fearful, even panicky expressions on their faces; they hurried towards the front doors of Gringotts, which Hermione could not see past the churning crowd. Newcomers stopped at the edge of the thick mass of people gathered around the grand white building, craned their necks to see what everyone was looking at, and then suddenly drew back, looking shocked, sick.
Mr. Weasley blinked in surprise. "What?" She moved aside to let him see, and after a good long look, when his gaze met Hermione's, it was just as confused as hers was. Both took turns squinting though the crack again, but could make no more sense out of it.
Then Hermione saw it. At the very edge of her possible line of vision, a trickle of dark red ran down the white marble steps. She stepped back.
"We need to see what's happened." She said. Mr. Weasley seemed to consider her statement, weighing their chances of being recognized before they could tell what had happened, in an instant. And then the two hurried down the steps as fast as they could, dark cloaks hiding their faces as best they could.
Some in the crowd did know who they were, however, almost as soon as they quietly exited the locked door of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. But no one reached out to grab them, or called for the nearest of Voldemort's supporters ( which Hermione suddenly realized were nowhere to be found ) - they fell back, letting the two wanted criminals though with somber, scared expressions.
With a horrible lurch in her stomach, Hermione suddenly understood a split second before the door came into her view.
A body hung from the large doors of Gringotts, pinned, Hermione realized with a jolt, by a large spike driven through its throat. Its head fell lolled downwards, so that its face was obscured by its untidy, matted black hair. The blood spattered the wall behind it, pooled at its feet, dripped down the steps . . . it matched the scarlet of its Gryffindor house robes in a sickeningly perfect way.
Hermione felt the scream building in her lungs long before it tore from her lips, ripping at her throat, raw and painful. But she could not stop the sound, not until a trickle of blood touched her shoe and she choked on the noise, the piercing shriek catching in her throat. She made strangled, rasping noises but no coherent noise, not even another tortured scream, would come out of her. She fell to her knees and wept.
She was only vaguely aware of Mr. Weasley's similar reaction as she knelt there. The crowd all around them seemed to have vanished; there was only the three of them, as she gurgled and cried over Harry Potter's mangled, bloody body. She did not know how long she stayed there, incapacitated with grief; until suddenly Hermione lurched forward, propelled by the sudden desire to remove him from the door, to give him some dignity. She crawled up the steps, stumbling, the stone slick with red. She pulled the metal from his neck. Mr. Weasley, whom Hermione had not realized had followed her, caught him.
It was so horrible, what they had done to him; she had to look away, but Hermione's eyes seemed glued to the body; unmovable, taking in every terrible detail. The face was the only thing they had left untouched, the Death Eaters; so that this moment could be possible, so that Harry's friends would be sure that it was him and that he had been killed in the most brutal way possible. Its legs were broken; the chest open. Hermione could only manage to make herself turn so that she might vomit.
Mr. Weasley held the body in his lap, tears pouring openly down his face. But Hermione could not approach, could not bear being near. Did that make her a bad friend, that she could not bring herself to throw her arms around Harry's neck and weep beside him? Hermione could only think of one way to justify herself as she choked and spluttered, covered in blood. That was no longer Harry. That was his body.
Harry Potter was dead.
The first chapter's a bit short, but it'll get longer, this is just sort of an introduction. And yeah, I actually have it all planned out and everything . I'm incredibly excited to be writing this.
I'd also like to mention that this is based off of The World I Leave Behind, another Harry Potter fic. Look it up, it's brilliant. But I'm just letting everyone know, because a few points in the plot are a bit similar; I'm not plagarizing. There's a flashback scene in that story that runs a lot like this one, but I have changed a few things and given it my own spin. I promise, this is definitely the closest the two'll get :) I hope you enjoyed reading!