We Will Be Together Again…
Chapter One: There Was Never a Story of Greater Woe...
Hello my loyal fans!
After originally writing this story, I went back and tore it apart, making it much longer and taking the time to really look into what was happening with the characters and such. When I read it back, I was so annoyed with it I spent ages making it as good as I could make it.
I hope this meets which your expectations!
I will now step aside and present Chapter One!
As the curse was forced back into his wand, he could see only one emotion on Riddle's face: fear. As the green light touched the tip of his wand, it exploded into a wide array of colours, throwing back the dark lord with sheer force. His body sailed through the air before landing with a thud, unmoving.
Voldemort was dead; killed by his own rebounding curse.
Harry stood transfixed, staring down at his enemy's empty shell. His wands were still pointed at the monster's body, perhaps waiting for him to spring up and begin cursing once more. After a few moments, his hand fell to his sides and he whispered quietly.
"It's over…it's really over."
For a moment, silence permeated the grounds. All fighting had stopped as they watched the end of the amazing duel, and now, as their leader failed to rise; many death eaters began to flee. They were caught easily by the victorious freedom fighters.
All of a sudden, the grounds of Hogwarts exploded with yells and cheers of celebration, filling the air with a tumultuous roar. The people rushed forward and surrounded the 'Boy Who Lived', determined to touch the reason it was all over.
Forcing a smile, he shook hands, hugged crying witches and wizards, all the while looking for the one person he wanted to see. After a few minutes, he saw her. As their eyes met, she ran forward and pulled him into a tight hug.
"I knew you could do it Harry." Hermione said softly. As he held her, a tear fell down his cheek in sadness.
"Thank you Hermione." She pulled back and smiled, but frowned slightly when she saw his distraught face.
"Harry; are you alright?" She asked tenderly. Before he could give an answer, he was swept by the victorious people into the Great Hall for a celebration dinner.
For the first time in centuries, students sat together at the four tables, regardless of house affiliation. Even the teachers joined them all down on the benches, all celebrating the fall of the most infamous dark lord in history.
While the people surrounding him enjoyed their victory, Harry sat almost in silence, only speaking when someone addressed him directly. His answers were short and to the point, cutting any conversation down to the bare minimum.
His mind could not accept that it was over. His very purpose for being was over and he was left feeling hollow and empty. Slowly, while he isolated himself from everyone except his thoughts, his anger began to build and build. From the outside, his face began to twitch and his eyes burned with a mixture of confusion and anger.
However, the people around him did not notice, too focused on the current celebration and the feelings of euphoria from Voldemort's death. As his mind burned internally, he was dragged back into reality by a misplaced question from his best friend.
"Hey mate, why aren't you celebrating?" He asked cheerfully. Harry's eye gave a massive twitch before he answered.
"Why am I not celebrating?" He whispered, his voice laced with anger. The people around him went silent. "I am not celebrating because THERE IS NOTHING TO CELEBRATE!"
Beginning as a whisper, his voice grew into a roar which made the entire Great Hall fall silent in surprise and shock. As he finished the last word, he stood and slammed his hands down on the table.
"You know, I thought, I genuinely thought that after he was dead it would be different." He punctuated the comment with a cold, humourless laugh. "But it's not. This war, this fucking nightmare, which for me has been going on since the night my parents died, simply refuses to end." He began to cry and looked around at everyone.
"You're all laughing and celebrating, glad it's finally over but I can't celebrate. Why can't I? WHY THE FUCK CAN'T I FEEL HAPPY AND JOYFUL THAT THE BASTARD IS DEAD?!" He shouted. "I've given up more than any of you for this fucking war, so why can't I be happy, why can't I live my life without this shadow hanging over my head?"
As his anger increased, his magic flared dangerously, causing the candles to flicker and a cold wind to blow through the hall. All the pent up rage he had, began to flow out through his magic and his words.
"My life has been shit. My mum and dad, murdered while I was a baby, forced to live with my relatives who hate magic and beat me daily because of it." The room gasped and he sneered. "Yeah, beat you didn't know that about your golden boy did you? No, people just labelled me an arrogant attention seeker without even getting to know me!" He shouted once more, tears pouring down his face.
"Then I get to Hogwarts and spent most of my time trying to stop Voldemort from coming back and save the school." He raked his hand through his hair. "You know, there are only a few good things that ever came from the wizarding world for me, and most of them have been taken away or are dead." He cried angrily.
"You know what, I'm sick of it. I'm sick of fighting for this dark, corrupt world, trying to save gullible, idiotic people who refuse to even try and help themselves, relying on a fucking child to fight for them!" He snarled.
"Well, I'm done. I'm done fighting for this world and its people. I'm done being a part of this world which has brought me nothing but pain, misery and anger." The room looked at him speechlessly. "I, am, DONE!"
As he finished the last word, he turned around and stormed out of the double doors leading out of the Great Hall. As he left, he pulled out his wand and cast a quiet spell as people tried to follow him. The doors slammed shut and sealed with a groan. Hermione was one of the people who had gone to follow him, and she tried frantically to open the doors.
"Please don't do anything stupid Harry." She pleaded quietly.
As he stormed out of the Great Hall, he muttered a quiet Colloportus before making his way through the ruined castle. As he walked, his anger began to bleed away and he fell to his knees and cried. He could not understand all the injustice in his life.
Why had he been forced to live this life? Why couldn't he have just been normal? That was all he ever wanted; to live a normal peaceful life with his family and perhaps have a family of his own one day. People like Riddle and Dumbledore had stolen that from him and given him a life filled with hate, anger and destruction.
With a sigh, he pulled himself to his feet and stopped wandering aimlessly. He was tired; weak, miserable and tired. But he knew where he wanted to be at that moment. Harry began to make his way through the castle, climbing the many stairs to reach that place.
He was on a mission; his last mission.
After ten minutes of intense work, they finally lifted Harry's spell from the doors of the Great Hall. Even though it was a first year spell, he had reinforced it with so much magical power that it had become almost impossible to remove.
As they finished opening the doors, they all knew the distraught wizard was long gone. A few had entertained the idea of trying to locate him, but most felt he just needed some time to himself. Hermione, however, knew it was dangerous to let Harry brood for too long. As she began to leave the Great Hall, a hand caught her arm and held her slightly.
"Hermione, where are you going?" Ron asked with a smile. "Don't you want to celebrate?" She scowled at him and threw his arm off.
"Well, Ronald, I am going to find my best friend to see if he is alright, because that's what friends do for each other." She turned on her heel and walked out of the hall, leaving a bewildered Ron behind.
"Bloody mental, that one" He said to himself, shaking his head in confusion.
As she left the Great Hall, she pulled the one thing that could find him quickly out of her bead bag, holding it out in front of her.
"I solemnly swear, that I'm up to no good" she whispered, holding her wand to the map.
Almost immediately, the familiar writing appeared on the tattered parchment and she began to frantically search for her best friend. She relaxed slightly when she located the name 'Harry Potter' standing in the astronomy tower.
"Mischief managed." She said happily.
Glad she had found him, she set off. Hermione was determined to track down the missing wizard and help him as much as she could.
Harry James Potter stood silently in the astronomy tower, overlooking the grounds of Hogwarts. The view was a remarkable one. The ground was stained with the signs of battle and large patches of blood, but the rain and the sunrise created something astoundingly beautiful.
The rain seemed to cleanse the castle of the battle, washing away the pain and horror from the end of the war, while the slowly rising sun cast a bright and redeeming light on all that was left. It seemed to symbolise that all that had happened here, the terror and the tragedy, had given way for a sort of rebirth; a second chance.
Harry smiled as he watched the sun creep over the mountains. While he was still angry, this image of beauty before him gave him a sense of fulfilment. He had not accomplished his own dreams of having a family, but he had helped give birth to a new world in which life could hopefully be better for everyone than it had been. His sacrifices had not been in vain.
He took a deep breath and felt the bracing Scottish wind on his face. The faint drizzle made his cheeks burn slightly, but it reminded him he was still alive. As he stood there, his mind began to look back at the past few years.
It had been here, in the astronomy tower nearly a year ago, that he had been forced to watch the death of Albus Dumbledore; a man he used to revere and see as a role model. However, when he had met the man again in the faux King's Cross, he realised that he had been the puppet master in the nightmare that was his life. The man had begged forgiveness for his actions for the sake of 'the greater good'.
He had not been forgiven.
As far as Harry was concerned, the old man would not receive the closure he so desperately wanted and could burn in hell for all he cared. All the years of thinking that someone had been working against him had been confirmed in that moment.
He had been a weapon; the ultimate weapon against Voldemort, one who could feel sufficient compassion toward others that he would willingly risk his life to save them all. His life was completely orchestrated, like some real life Truman Show.
After he had returned, he felt livid. As his mind went over his life he realised that people who had shown him care and love were in fact placed there by the venerable headmaster. The Weasley family for instance; all that love and affection Mrs Weasley smothered him with was so he had something to lose if he failed; a family to come back to if he succeeded.
Harry used that anger to defeat Voldemort. Rather than feeling sorry for himself, he diverted all his anguish, his hatred and his anger into his magic. He was determined to at least destroy one of the people who had ruined his life.
But as he watched the dark lord's body fall, all those emotions vanished. He had died. Even hatred and anger, be them horrible emotions, told him that he was alive, that he could still feel. But they were all gone.
"After all I've done, after all I've suffered, I am finally free from this sense of damned obligation, but I'm broken. I…I'm just dead." He began to cry.
"How is this fair? I give everything to save the world but I'm still trapped. Isn't the hero supposed to save the world, get the girl, and ride off into the sunset?" He growled in frustration.
"My life could never have ended like that." He sighed. He walked over to one of the wooden pillars, placing his cloak, his wand and a sealed letter down on the floor before moving back to the railing.
"Damn you Riddle and damn you Dumbledore…I'll see you in hell you bastards." He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. Just as he was going to make a move, a voice spoke bringing him out of his thoughts.
As she began climbing the steps into the tower, she could hear a familiar male voice echoing softly. She smiled and began walking faster. However, as she was about to walk behind him, she caught his speech.
"After all I've done, after all I've suffered, I am finally free from this sense of damned obligation, but I'm broken. I…I'm just dead.
How is this fair? I give everything to save the world but I'm still trapped. Isn't the hero supposed to save the world, get the girl, and ride off into the sunset?
My life could never have ended like that.
Damn you Riddle and damn you Dumbledore…I'll see you in hell you bastards." She gasped inwardly as she realised what he was about to do. Her mind exploded into panic.
'No, no, not after all this, you can't!' She thought frantically. Taking a step forward, she decided to announce her presence.
"Harry?" Of all the responses she expected, she hadn't expected the one she got. Harry laughed warmly as she announced herself.
"Of course it would be you, Hermione. Loyal and faithful to the very end." He chuckled slightly. "Hermione Jane Granger, the only person who never left my side, my one and only constant in this stupid world." He gave a rattled sigh.
"I did promise that I would stay with you Harry; until the very end." She said softly. He still had his back turned, but she could tell he was smiling.
"That you did. But…" He paused "…your promise is nearing its end." She began to cry and took another step forward.
"Please Harry, please don't do this. Think about everyone you will leave behind who will miss you." Harry laughed coldly and span around.
"To be honest Hermione, I don't care. I am sick of this world and people who pretend to care for me, but genuinely don't give a damn or are working for some…secret agenda.
"Harry, you can't mean that!" His expression suggested otherwise. "But there are so many of us who care for you, the real you." He looked pained and sighed.
"That's what I used to think. But I had a chat to someone who told me some interesting things about my life and the people in it. The list of people who care for me went down to a few, but went down to one when I discounted those who had…passed on." He sighed. "It just so happened to be the only person I even remotely care about in this world. But…I missed my chance. That ship has sailed…a long, long time ago." He finished tiredly.
"Who do you mean? Is it Ginny?" She asked. Harry laughed again.
"Ginny? Ginny doesn't give a damn about me. She has deluded herself with the image of the 'Boy Who Lived' that she can't see me." He paused. "No, the person I care for is much more worthy of my affections." He smiled.
"She's kind, she's funny, she's intelligent, she's caring, she's trusting, she's loyal, she's beautiful and she cares for me deeply – the real me." She ran various names through her mind, trying to find this individual but failed.
"I don't know who you mean Harry." She answered sadly. He blinked at her before smiling slightly.
"I know for a fact that you just ran lots of names through the super-computer that is your mind trying to find a match…all bar one." She looked confused.
He shook his head and took a step toward her. Placing his hand on the side of her face, he stroked her cheek with his thumb. With a smile, he leant forwards and captured her lips in a gentle kiss. It only lasted for a moment, before he broke it and held her cheek once more.
"You Hermione. There has never been anyone I care more about than you." Tears poured down her face while she was in a state of shock.
"But I know that you love Ron and he loves you too. I care for you so much; I only want you to be happy. You could never be happy with me." He sighed.
"But without you, there is nothing keeping me here. I know that you will be happy, which takes away my last reason for staying here." He smiled and turned back to the ledge. She snapped out of her shock and spoke to him quietly.
"Please don't Harry. We still need you…I still need you." She finished in a whisper. He stopped and turned back.
"No Hermione. You never needed me…" He stroked her face gently "…I needed you." He held her cheeks and kissed her once more on the lips.
Fully aware of what was happening this time, she reacted and deepened the kiss. It lasted for a few minutes before Harry broke it. Her eyes were still closed, her mind trying to restart and he chuckled. He gave her a small smile before kissing her cheek.
"I love you, Hermione. Never forget that." Her eyes opened just in time to see her best friend smile at her, before falling back – following the path that Dumbledore's body took over the ledge of the astronomy tower.
Hermione stood frozen for a moment, her mind unable to comprehend what had happened. In a flash, she ran to the edge and looked down.
"HAAARRRY!" She screamed.
Her voice echoed around the grounds, repeating itself like a broken record. She stared unbelievingly at the small speck on the ground she recognised as Harry.
In the Great Hall, the conversation stopped almost immediately after hearing the distraught cry filtering through the walls. They rushed from their seats, almost at once, and ran to the scene of yesterday's battle.
Lying on the grass was a body. His eyes were closed and from the way his limbs were facing he might have been asleep. The blood trickling from his mouth told them otherwise. His chest was unmoving and his mouth closed.
Hermione, still staring down from the tower, could not believe it had happened. It seemed like a bad dream; a nightmare where she would wake up, finding Harry sitting next to her smiling comfortingly, asking what her dream was about.
Somewhere, in the deepest part of her mind, a single voice spoke out silencing the others all arguing together.
'He's gone.' It finally dawned on her that he was dead.
The people below the tower were transfixed by the body of their hero. In the midst of the crowd, Minerva McGonagall took a few steps forward, her face white and ashen, staring at her young lion's body. Tears began to fall down her wrinkled face as she thought back to his words in the Great Hall.
"Well, I'm done. I'm done fighting for this world and its people. I'm done being a part of this world which has brought me nothing but pain, misery and anger."
She hadn't realised he had meant it literally. She hadn't seen it coming, none of them had. It seemed obvious now, looking at it in hindsight that he may have been emotionally unbalanced, but to go as far as ending his life…she blinked the tears from her eyes and sighed.
Hermione broke her gaze from her best friend's lifeless body and pulled herself to her feet. Tears pouring down her face, she pulled out her wand and pointed it at the sky. With a quiet sob, a beautiful white light began pulsing from her wand, lighting the early morning sky.
Their eyes shot upwards as they watched the light shining from the tower, staring at the lone figure standing by the ledge of the astronomy tower. With a silent nod, Minerva withdrew her wand from its holster and aimed it skyward, a similar glow of light joining hers in the sky.
The other witches and wizards slowly, one by one, copied the actions of the two witches and soon the grounds of Hogwarts were filled with a bright display of white magic; a salute to one of the greatest wizards they had ever known.
As they began their salute, the sun finally completed its full ascent above the mountains and seemed to join their gesture, its bright rays making the magic glow ever brighter. Dropping her wand to her side, Minerva moved forward to the body and fell to her knees. Leaning forward, she placed a gentle kiss on his forehead and whispered.
"I'm so sorry Harry." Letting lose a small sob, she rose to her feet and conjured a stretcher, levitating his lifeless body onto it, before carrying it back inside the school.
Eventually, the witches and wizards standing in the grounds filtered back inside the school, leaving the battlefield almost deserted.
Finally letting her wand fall to her side, Hermione stood in silence, letting her mind catch up with all that had occurred. She fell to her knees as a wave of pure sadness and anguish broke free from her mind. She screamed in pain, crying as she yelled her throat sore. Only one thought was filtering through her mind at that moment:
He was dead.
From the day he had saved her from a troll in the girl's bathroom, she had always been there for her friend, standing by him, helping any way she could. She felt lost. Similarly to Harry, she felt their relationship to have been the one constant over the years. Without him…she didn't know what to do.
She couldn't help but feel as though she failed him. He was obviously filled with turmoil and pain and she hadn't seen what it would lead to. Not only that, she had missed his feelings for her completely, never even having inkling that he loved her.
As the wave of sadness passed, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye; a small pile of items next to a wooden pillar. She crawled over and lifted the pile into her lap. He had placed his cloak, his wand and a sealed letter there before he fell.
She ran her hand across the smooth material of the cloak and smiled as memories came flooding back. All the times they had snuck out under the cloak over the years and the adventures they had together. She laughed when she recalled that at the end, their feet stuck out when she and Harry had used it.
She picked up his wand, holding it reverently as she ran her hand across it. As she touched the handle, she felt a burst of warmth that made her shiver. As she held the items, she felt closer to her best friend, even if it was only an illusion.
Finally, she lifted the letter from the envelope, turning it to read who it was for. Her breath caught in her throat when she read 'To Hermione' written in Harry's untidy scrawl. Gently breaking the seal, she pulled the parchment out with shaking hands.
My Dearest Hermione,
While I have a feeling I may see you one last time before I end my mission, I have written this to wholly explain my seemingly desperate actions.
As you probably know, life for me has been difficult. The constant threats of Voldemort teamed with Dumbledore's manipulations have left me a shadow of the person I was in first year. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but your raven haired friend with the lightning bolt scar died long before today.
I could spend this letter pointing the finger at people I blame for my miserable life, but I won't. This letter is about you, for you. While I can't force myself to care about the majority of people in my life anymore, I feel as though I owe you an explanation. After all you have done for me, you deserve that much.
I didn't get a chance to tell you this, but when Riddle tried to kill me during the battle, my mind went somewhere. To me, it looked like King's Cross Station, but that is irrelevant right now. While I was there, I met Headmaster Dumbledore and spoke to him.
My life was a lie Hermione; one big setup from the night my parents died. It was all orchestrated and written out before me. I was just an actor in the play that was my life. He did this for one simple reason: the prophecy. He knew Voldemort would return and needed a way to kill him. I was that way.
He groomed me into the ultimate weapon; a person that was willing to sacrifice his life for the benefit of others. The majority of the people in my life were there to make sure I followed the set path left for me. Only a few were there because they cared for me and wanted to be there. You were one of those people.
Hermione, my heart demands that I write this despite knowing the pain it will cause you. During my years at Hogwarts, my heart always belonged to you.
When we met on the train, I could see something, sense something which made you stand out. At that moment, I knew you were special. It took me a few years to decipher those feelings into something I could understand.
I love you, so very much. There were so many times I simply wanted to march straight up to you and tell you the truth, but my mind wouldn't allow it. I was afraid of pushing you away. Had I told you and was rejected; I couldn't bear the thought of you not being in my life.
When I finally gained the courage to tell you, it was too late. I saw feelings between you and Ron probably before you even knew it yourselves. Contrary to my own feelings, I wasn't going to come between you like that.
When he left during the horcrux hunt, part of me wanted to show you how I felt and try to steal you from Ron when I saw how upset he made you. But when I saw you kiss in the final battle…well, I knew I had lost. I had missed my chance a long time ago.
There is only one thing I care about right now and that is you. All I want is to see you happy in your life. But I realised that I couldn't be the one to make you happy. You were the last link tying me to this world. Without you, there was nothing keeping me here.
However, I don't want you to believe that my death was by any measure your fault. I was never meant to survive Dumbledore's mission. This war scarred me. After all the pain in my life I couldn't feel any more without ending my life prematurely.
When Sirius died, all I felt was pain and sadness. It killed me. My mind was stripped of my emotions. But feeling nothing is maddening. At least when you feel pain and anger, you know you are alive. But when there is nothing?
When I came back from King's Cross I felt so angry and frustrated. My humanity came back for a small amount of time. I used that to defeat Riddle. Dumbledore had never planned for me to survive my mission; therefore he didn't need to think about any of the possible repercussions this could have.
My love for my true family forced me onward. Despite my mind slipping away I pushed forward, desperate to finish everything before I lost my mind. My life was one endless war; a war which I was destined to finish alone. I won. I won the war but lost myself as a result.
I have completed the task that was set out for me during my life. But with my mission's end, I realise I cannot stay here. I am a product of the war and have no place in this new world. I hope that my sacrifice has not been in vain.
I feel as though there is so much more I want to say, but my mind is tired. I hope this is enough to explain why I have decided to end my life. My heart aches for the day when we will meet again.
I will wait for you Hermione. I love you, always and forever.
Harry James Potter
P.S. I have left you my cloak, my wand and the marauder's map since the Potter line ends with me. Use them well. I have destroyed the elder wand and I lost the stone. Please do not go looking for it.
As she finished the letter, her tears splashed on the parchment and her hands shook with grief and sadness. He had meant this letter as an explanation, but it raised more questions than answers. She reread the letter again and again, trying to gleam everything she could from it.
'He loved me; right up until the end he loved me.' She thought in despair.
Tears poured down her face and she wailed once more. As she cried, she felt a hand gently touch her shoulder. Picking up Harry's belongings, she threw the hand off and stormed out of the tower, leaving a confused Ron.
"Hermione! Hermione wait!" He began to give chase, only to see that she had disappeared. With a sigh, he wandered back to the Great Hall, passing a distraught Hermione under Harry's invisibility cloak.
Ta da! Chapter One!
I really hope you enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it! This story is a feather in my cap, I think.
Please read on! Oh, and do please review! I like to know what you think!
This is the Quill, signing off!