I've recently come in to liking Fred/Hermione, so I wanted to try my hand at it. This is not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, it works. I think I'm going to turn it into a short chapter story, but it will be one I update when I get around to it, as I have other more important stories. If, however, enough people like it, I might bump this up a few spots on my story list. So let me know!

Obvious disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. Though I pretend I own Fred. At least in this fic. If this was a dramione, that would say Draco... nor do I own the song Hallelujah, which belongs to many people...

Maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at somebody who outdrew you

And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

~}-{~

Hermione sat in a dark corner of the Great Hall, dried tears still evident on her cheeks, watching as the survivors of the Final Battle grouped together with their friends and family and mourned over the fallen. She felt terrible; the sense of despair burned away any relief or happiness at their victory. So many had died. There were so many bodies lined up side by side on the floor of the hall that had once provided so many cherished memories. How could she feel victorious when there were so many gone?

Hermione turned her eyes to the ceiling. She faintly recalled her very first time ever seeing the enchanted ceiling, the candles floating high above her eleven year old head. She had been awed, mystified that she was special enough to be among such wonder. But now, as she stared mournfully at the ceiling, she only felt a deep stirring sadness. Good chunks of the ceiling were missing, revealing a dark sky that was just beginning to show signs of dawn. The ceiling that was still visible had no fancy enchantments; like the rest of the Wizarding World, it had broken.

She turned her eyes back to the sobbing family in front of her. Her stomach churned; she felt hopelessly sick. The Weasley's had done so much for her since Ron and Harry befriended her, yet right now, she could do nothing for them. Perhaps it was true she had obliviated her parents, meaning she was technically an orphan, but when it came down to honest reality, she hadn't actually lost anybody. Nobody extremely important to her had died. While she dearly loved Remus and Tonks, and Sirius' death still hurt her deeply, and it was obvious nobody would get over the death of Albus Dumbledore, there had been nobody that was special to her and her only that had died.

That was why she sat alone in the corner, watching as her second family cried over the loss of one of their own. Nobody had believed it, not until it happened. At Cedric's death, people were too doubtful about Voldemort's return for it to fully hit home. The death of Harry's godfather definitely brought people back to reality, but Harry, while extremely depressed, admitted that Sirius was probably better off. When Dumbledore died, it was accepted; yes, everyone was devastated, and many doubted that the Light would win, but most accepted it. When Mad-Eye died, it was a terrible loss, but everyone knew with his crazy ways it was bound to happen. Dobby's death hurt terribly; the death of someone so innocent who had helped in so many ways was hard to handle, but as Harry said, Dobby wouldn't have wanted to die any other way.

But as Hermione watched the Weasley's sob onto one another, she felt her heart break in her chest. Now they understood. As Ginny clutched desperately onto Harry's shirt, her tears soaking his shoulder as he tried uselessly to comfort her, his own face a mask of disbelief and guilt, she understood. As Ron, tears falling down his cheeks in steady streams, held Molly while she sobbed and wailed and cried herself hoarse, they understood. As Arthur stood with Charlie, both crying, father with his arm around his son, both trying to be strong for the family, they understood. As Fleur buried her face into Bill's shoulder, her frame visibly shaking, his arms around her, tears mingling with blood as they streamed through the battered half of his face, he understood.

But nobody understood better than the boy who was clutching hopelessly to the shirt of his fallen brother, his head on his brother's chest, begging him to stop fooling around and to wake up. Nobody understood better than the boy who was screaming into the lifeless body that it wasn't funny anymore. Nobody understood better than the boy whose tears had completely drenched the still body of his twin, his voice so hoarse from yelling and begging and screaming that it was now just a whisper as it pleaded for the unmoving body not to leave him alone, to come back, to stay with him. Nobody understood better than the boy who had just lost the other half of himself.

Yeah, Hermione thought detachedly as she stood and exited the Great Hall, unable to cry as it was not her place, but no longer able to remain watching the grieving family. Now they understand.

~}-{~

It is better to die laughing than to live each moment in fear. -Michael Crichton