Disclaimer: Everything still belongs to JKR
Everything still belongs to JKR.
Author's Note: A big thank you to Night Zephyr for beta-ing. Please review!
Grief is the agony of an instant, the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.
-Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)
Thats what I do now. I pace, I struggle not to weep, and I remember.
Ive visited here many times; I have to. Hogwarts was probably the only home I really ever knew. My parents were fine, great even, but they werent...
When the War started again, the Second War against the Dark Side, they tried to shelter me from the world, from magic, from the place where I had grown up, and belonged. But no. I wouldnt. I couldnt. I escaped. I lied.
I sink to my knees, reading the names embossed onto the Wall of Remembrance. Each one is like a blow, bringing me closer to death. I dont care. I need to read them. Need to remember. Need to know.
Ive read these names before; I was at the presenting ceremony. I wept along with them, felt the pain, the dull stinging at every name. Every person. One life less. Not able to get married, to have children, to live their life. And do those murderers care?
I trace each one.
I always start here.
He is always the first.
Somewhere along the way, he comes in. Susans uncle. She only got to know him for a few months. Dead.
I skip the names, wanting to come to the last ones. They are always what starts the pain, because, even if I never knew them, they mean the world to me. They are the ones who started this. Their love. I wish someone loved me like that, to risk dying for me.
But someone did.
And they had.
A tear somehow manages to squeeze out of my eyes, I dont know how. Im good at hiding my emotions now, a lot better than I was when I was younger, good at making people think I dont care. But inside, Im weeping. I do care.
The plaque makes a skip: 1994
The year that started it all.
Only two casualties, one a Muggle, one a forgetful witch. When I found out that Barty Crouch Jr. was the one who did it, I wanted to kill him. All those times I felt proud because Mad- Eye Moody told me I was smart. All lies. And did I know?
This is where everything really started happening. The Triwizard Tournament, the mysterious Ministry... I skip this column. Im not ready yet. Too painful, too... everything.
I dont know if Ill ever be ready to read that column.
1996, I think quickly. I cannot allow myself to cry. I am strong. Ive spent too many lost years like that, crying my heart out. Its a wonder people even liked me in school.
Some Department of Mysteries worker, Unspeakable, I think. I mourn. I didnt even read the news in the papers. I found out later, when the names were first read. I didnt know him, yet...
I feel the loss.
Another tear falls to the floor. I never knew him either. But, from what Ive heard...
He sounds great, amazing even. Good for Harry. Harry needed a father figure, a joker, someone he could trust in his life. And then that someone got taken away.
And I could see the loss on Harrys face every day. I still can.
I skip through the names, reading at random the ones that appeal to me.
She seemed nice, a mother figure. Also good for Harry.
Terrys father. He shut himself off after that. His mother too, shes next.
Terry never really cared after his parents deaths. Its a miracle he didnt go himself, back in 1996.
Lavenders mother. She was a half-blood, and her father wasnt home, luckily. Her father was the Muggle. They killed Violet, and left a message, inscribed in her blood.
You had it coming.
I only met her once, and didnt really meet her, just saw her , but she was definitely a decent person, kind and funny. A Metamorphmagus too, from what Ive heard.
Tortured to death.
They say he had nothing to live for, after Molly died, except for the children. He was strong, from what Ive heard, but the Death Eaters got him. Alone in his house.
Hannah. Strong until the end. Dead.
Captured, all of them, while at Hogsmeade. Death Eaters tried to get information out of them. They refused.
And were all murdered.
I cant tell which year Im in, it doesnt matter. The names...
Thats all we have left of these people, murdered in cold blood. Nobody cared before. Then, suddenly, when they turn out to be dead, everyone is like, "(Insert Name Here) was one of my best friends! I think Im going to go cry my heart out some more!"
But I cared. I really did. I still do.
Possibly the worst teacher ever known to mankind. A great person, nevertheless. Gone.
I used to be scared of him, when I started here at Hogwarts. I was still scared, right up to the point where I learned that the Potions Master wouldnt be returning to Hogwarts anymore. He wouldnt scream at us anymore, take a billion points from Gryffindor, or Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff. He wouldnt be there.
I used to think that Neville was just a stupid little thing, I didnt know why the hell the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor, but then I learned about his parents. Mad. Insane.
St. Mungos was attacked, I dont know when, I had lost track of time. I think I was out of Hogwarts by then.
Everyone in the entire hospital, dead. The patients, the Healers, the families who had been visiting. And did the Death Eaters even care?
I wanted to hit something. Badly. Take out my rage. Let it free. Be free. Like I was back in fifth year. Let it all go; the pain, the hate, the emptiness... free....
I read on.
He was probably the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher we had, and I was thoroughly shocked when I found that he was a Werewolf. He was really nice, another good father figure for Harry.
Another dead person for him to mourn.
Stabbed to death with silver.
There are some people who think that she wouldnt have died if it hadnt had been for me. Theyre wrong. She didnt have to chose the path she did. She couldve stayed with me. But she didnt. She choose betrayal. And I had nothing to do with it.
They found her and her mother in their house, basking in the green light of the Dark Mark.
Im at the Last Battle now, these people who survived through it all, only to die minutes before freedom.
I came to watch the seventh years graduate, and what do I get?
I can still hear them...
I smell the blood...
A hand clamps on my shoulder. I feel its warmth. I look up. Its my father.
"Lets go," he says, almost whispering. I nod.
His face gets that pained look he has, every time he looks at me. I remind him of Mother.
She isnt on the wall.
Leukemia. She had 6 months left when she found out.
I get up. "I was worried about you," Father says. "You spend so much time here... But maybe it is best not to talk about it."
"Yes," I say. "It is."
Father swings his arm around my shoulders. "Lets go home, Cho."
"Yes," I say with a smile. "Lets go home."