A/N- So, I'm sorry for the hiatus this story went on. It became too much for me to write. And at this time I'm not strong enough emotionally to finish the story like I want too. Its too much of a trigger as I write this story from personal experience. I tried to make it longer but it wasn't happening.
So this is the last chapter, yes it ended abruptly and the story well it was far from over. But I can stop it here and maybe a year from now, I'll have the strength to continue on with it or not. Only time really will tell. But anyway I hope you enjoy the last bit of it. I just didn't want it to be an abandoned story. Thanks for being patient and supportive in all your reviews. I hope in a year I'm strong enough, but sorry for the disappointment, I know how that feels. :(
Chapter 38: Where do you go from here
Hermione followed Blaize outside, her eyes wondering around before she caught herself. She had been looking for Harry, and she found herself swallowing the lump in her throat. Harry was dead and he was never coming back. Magic couldn't fix everything, especially not her. She was so broken on the inside, why hadn't she noticed what was going on with him?
She was a know it all, why had she not realized? She took a ragged breath of air before she managed to rein in that grief, now was not the time for self pity. How dare she try to feel better, Harry would never ever come back and that was on her. She had never wanted to be as far away from Hogwarts as she did now.
"I think I want to go home," she said quietly as they took a seat at the base of the tree that faced the lake.
"I don't think that's a good idea," Blaise replied honestly.
"What better way to deal with grief then to be with ones family?" Hermione pointed out softly.
"Because they haven't personally felt this type of grief, they'll be outsiders looking in. But here at school, you have the same type of emotions as everyone else. People who knew him as a person and not as his persona will grieve with you and offer their support in exchange for yours," he told her seriously.
"I suppose, but it's so hard being here, I keep turning around and looking for him. As if he'll come, it doesn't seem real," she sniffled out.
"It never does," Blaise murmured as he rubbed her side soothingly.
"I don't fit in here, I never have. Harry made it to where I could have friends," she admitted sadly.
"He was the gateway yeah, but you fit in. You've made your own friends as well," Blaise responded.
"But he was my first friend, he saw me when no one else did. I think...I want to die too," Hermione whispered out tearfully as she shook her head.
Before she hadn't been able to comprehend the amount of pain that Harry had to be in to even contemplate suicide but now, she was pretty sure she knew. She had never felt such a gaping hole in her heart. It was painful and she knew it would never go away. Harry was her best friend and he was gone now, so where did that leave her?
"You don't mean that," Blaise said firmly as he held her tightly. Her words scared him, but he wouldn't turn his back on her now, not when she clearly needed him.
"I do, I'll never survive Hogwarts without him. Ron was only my friend because Harry made him be, but he hated me. And sometimes I think he still does, and that's okay because I sometimes feel the same way," Hermione replied truthfully. "I haven't even seen in him since that day in the classroom,"
"Everyone deals with grief in their own way and I'm sure Weasely thinks of you as friend, if not more then that," he replied as his eyes flashed to her so she could see that he was truly serious.
"I can't even judge him, was I that horrible of a friend that Harry couldn't even come to me? Had someone told him that suicide was the only way? Why would he think that this was the right way? I would have listened, no matter how long he ranted, I should have been there," she cried out brokenly at the injustice of it.
"Don't do this Hermione, his mind was made up. Whose to say that even if you did know he would have listened to you?" Blaise asked, not liking where this was going. She better not start trying to blame herself again.
"But why would he do this?" She sobbed out, knowing he was really gone and there was no coming back. She had never wished for the time turner she had in 3rd year but she did in that moment, wishing that this was all one bad dream. But even as the thoughts went through her mind, she knew this was real and there would be no waking up from this nightmare. Why hadn't she known.
"Everyone has their reasons, Harry more then others," Blaise said vaguely as he rocked her trying to calm her.
"He's never going to grow up, have kids or any of that stuff. He's never gonna live, I'm never going to see him again. Why is this happening? Why didn't no one see?" She murmured out teary-eyed, trying but failing to get herself under control.
"Because when it came to the boy-who-lived, everyone only saw what they wanted too," he said before he fell silent. He turned his gaze out to the water, as she mumbled incoherently to him trying to make sense of what happened. But like somethings in life, there would never be any answers to her questions.
It was about 2 hours later when Neville had calmed down, or at least he looked like he had. He was more determined then ever. He couldn't stick around here any longer, he refused to spend anymore time in the presence of his potion's master. He had no wand, but he didn't particularly care, why should he? The darn thing never worked properly for him anyway. He walked out the room and headed for the door, surprised slightly to see that no one was there trying to block him from leaving.
He knew earlier his words had been a bit rash, and though he longed to do what Harry had done he knew he couldn't. At least not yet in the least. He had to make sure his grandmother would be taken care of when he was no longer here. He wasn't sure how she would take this, and for the time in a long time he found he could care less.
He felt something shift in him, unsure of what it was until the haze in his head cleared and he had a moment of clarity. He suddenly felt free for some odd reason, his destiny and his fate was in his own hands. Life was clearly to short and he wouldn't make a mockery of his friend's suffering by joining him. He knew that if he did manage to kill himself that Harry wouldn't be pleased.
He could almost hear the green eyed teen yelling at him before he shook the thought away. He didn't have to ask why? He knew better then anyway, what it was like to stay in the spotlight, and to have no choice. He had one now, and he was taking it. He couldn't stay here at Hogwarts anymore, it would be too hard for him to move on if he did. To suppress the urge to take his own life. He had to do this, and though it hurt he wouldn't look back. He was never more grateful for his Uncle and teaching him how to apparate this past summer, it was going to come in handy.
It was better this way, and he nodded silently to himself. He took a good look around his Professor's quarters before he slipped out, shutting the door quietly behind him. Neville made his way to through the castle, rifling through his trunk and grabbing the items most precious to him, before he made his way out the common room, intent on the entrance doors. As he got there, he made his way towards the boundary line, allowing himself one last glance at the place he too had once called home before he disappeared.
The minute Harry walked out of the potion's lab with his Professor, he felt the change. He frowned before looking around the quarters silently.
"What is it?" Severus asked curiously as looked at the teen looking around.
"Neville's gone," Harry said worriedly as he hurried into his bedroom to double check.
"I'll call a house elf and have them keep an eye on him," he said as he snapped his fingers.
"No, that won't help," Harry murmured out unable to shake the feeling that he was missing something but unsure what until the house elf informed them both that Neville had left the castle.
Severus sighed heavily as he nodded curtly to the creature and dismissed it. Longbottom had fled, he could be anywhere and he could then hurt himself and there would be no one to stop him.
"How could that idiotic boy leave defenseless? I still have his wand," Severus hissed out obviously agitated.
"It didn't work right for him, it was his dad's. I can't be sure, but I don't think he's going to hurt himself," Harry said softly.
"Oh? And you know this how? Are you channeling a seer now? Perhaps Sybil," Severus scoffed in disbelief. "He was suicidal, and has been for however long. People just don't change over night, the urge doesn't go away, in time it does but not that quickly," he said knowingly.
"How would you know?" Harry retorted back, refusing to believe that his friend had gone off to kill himself.
"Because I've been there, and I've seen it. I've been the head of Slytherin for many years, and before that I was a Slytherin myself," Severus told him quietly.
"Then you should have seen before, all of this, you should have known. The signs were blatantly obvious," Harry told him bluntly. There were no accusations in his tone, just a resigned tone.
"I know, and you have no Idea how much of that I truly regret. I was blind, I can admit that. Not many would, but I know when I failed," The potion master said as he took a seat in his chair.
Harry sighed softly as he took a seat across from his once hated Potion's Professor. They're were so may questions going through his head. He didn't know what to, and hiding seemed like the cowards way out. The Headmaster and the Potion's Master had risked Azkaban when they decided to protect him, and he was grateful for it. But he couldn't help but feel the plan was hastily done.
Was there a flaw? Would Voldemort be able to tell? He wasn't a Slytherin, no matter what the sorting hat said, and he would never be able to fool him. He just knew it. He sighed once more, dropping his hand into his hands wishing like Neville he could run away too. But even as Emerson he couldn't just run away. He was stuck here with the same problems, and it wasn't for the first time he wished that Snape hadn't been sucked into Snape's promise of a better life. The will to live had diminished but then again it hadn't really been there in the first place.
"What are you thinking about so hard over there?" Severus asked quietly breaking the silence in the room.
"Vold-you-know-who, and why he wants to see me. If he tries to mark me, I'm not having it. I refuse to be his slave," Harry muttered out seriously.
"I know, it won't come down to that. He doesn't mark the children yet, at least not until their 7th year," he assured him.
"That's not really helpful, but thanks," Harry sighed.
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry. The plan was to keep you off of his radar and instead it delivered you right to him. I'm sorry for this part you have to play, and for the danger we put you in," Severus said sincerely.
"If you hadn't I would have been kissed, it was the lesser of two evils. No regrets of your plan, just regrets of life," Harry mumbled out.
"What did you say?" Severus asked his eyes narrowing slightly.
"Nothing," Harry said with a shrug, before he turned away from the man, his back making it known that he was dropping the conversation. He closed his silently, wondering where did one go from here?
Draco sniffled one last time before he finally sat up, turning his watery gaze to look at the girl who had petted his hair and allowed him to cry in her lap. He didn't deserve it, he knew but he was glad she gave it to him.
"Say something," he breathed out when it became apparent she wasn't going to speak first.
"What is there say Draco? Sometimes there are no words to express how one is feeling," Luna replied softly.
"I know," he replied softly. "Thank you, for the lack of judgment, I know I deserve it,"
Luna shrugged as she gave him a pitying look. "Who am I to judge you? Especially when you're doing enough judging of yourself for the both of us?"
Draco sighed, running a hand through his blonde hair, unable to find the will to move.
"We don't have anywhere to be, so moving isn't necessary," Luna said softly, her hand rubbing the boy's back.
Draco shrugged, unable to say anything in reply to that. As he tried to process this all. How did one go on after something like this? His rival had killed himself and had wanted to take him with him. What if he had succeeded? Was all the jeers and taunts worth it? He closed his eyes wearily, wishing he could take it all back. But like that morning he woke up in the infirmary he knew that his wish was meaningless and that's what hurt him the most.
He would never be forgiven, because death was forever and Potter was never coming back. He shut his eyes, wishing he could take back what he said, but he knew he couldn't. One just couldn't go back, the only thing could do was go forward, even if they were unsure and unready. Because that was life, and for some like Potter, there would be no second chances.