JK Rowling is a goddess. I would never take credit for her creations.
Everything here belongs to her, I've only made use of
it for a short while.
Dark Before Dawn
drummed against the glass of the dormitory windows. The howling wind pushed the
droplets to a near horizontal slant, driving them into the panes. Beyond the
casement the night was murky black, any hope of moonlight blotted out by the
thick, tumbling clouds.
happening somewhere out there in the rain.
the coiling, blustering winds of the storm, sheltered inside a dormitory, a
young woman sat curled on a window seat. Her chin rested on the windowsill,
nose pressed softly against the glass, as she watched the rain flowing in
torrents past her eyes.
beyond the storm her future was being decided. She was here.
her arm to wipe away the circle of condensation that her breath had shaped on
the window. She had spent the night watching the storm, tucked up in the thick
red duvet from her bed. Blood red. Fitting
for tonight. The others were sleeping, although not peacefully. She
longed to join them but she couldn't. It wouldn't feel right to lie in bed when
somewhere, out beyond her curtains, everyone she cared about was fighting a war
that would decide her future -- all of their futures. So she chose to stay
awake, eyes staring into the night, searching for something -- anything.
snoring of her dorm mates was the only challenge to the howling wind. The storm
was violent -- what went on beyond it even more so -- but still they found the
ability to sleep. There was no thunder, only wind and rain beating against the
tower, sending echoes of urgency and dread and discontent all flooding into her
mind. She'd left only one candle lit, to help stave off the darkness. It
flickered ominously as she let out a breath, sending shadows against her
happening. The accumulation of decades worth of
It was too
unlike her, to sit back and not rise to take a stand. It wasn't natural; it didn't
feel right. Given the choice she'd be gone by now, out in the rain with the
others. She would have never chosen to stay here -- just sitting, not knowing
whether any of them would ever come back. But it wasn't her choice. He'd made
what he wanted of course. He had never liked putting anyone else in danger.
She took a
breath, running her hands over her crimson hair and down to grip the back of
safe, alright. Safe and alone. They'd gone and left
her here to think. Did they not realise that time to think meant time
be easier for her out there. Out there time to think was time to plan. Everyone
she loved was out there tonight; risking their lives, fighting for what was
right, working for peace.
saving the world. That phrase had always sounded silly to her, but that was
exactly what they were doing. They were risking their lives to assure that
tomorrow would dawn the same way as today.
Was it so wrong
to want to help!?
the blanket up to her face and screamed, the sound
muffled to near extinction by the thick, plush material. The girl in the next
bed sighed softly and turned over.
They had been here yesterday, all of them. It had been a surprise to see four
redheaded boys tumble through the portrait hole, laughing and teasing each
other playfully. A fifth brought up the rear, a bit more withdrawn but as
cheerful as the others, glasses slightly askew. Bill had spun her around like
he had when she was little and rubbed his unshaven chin across her cheek.
George had tackled Ron and hugged him, taking time to give him the predictable
two pats on the back before binding him to a chair and force-feeding him a new
concoction. Percy hung back and waited until the others were done to move in
and give her one of his soft, distinctive hugs, whispering in her ear that
Harry had been sitting a bit too close when they'd come in.
Hermione had joined them. The nine had all crowded together around one of the
small tables, laughing and cheering as all sorts of card games and bets were
won and lost. They had sat there for hours, snacking on sweets the twins had
brought up from the kitchen and talking about little things, unimportant ones,
soaking up as much of everyone else as possible. Inside a tiny voice was
telling them that this could be their last chance. They'd groaned but complied
when at half past three Hermione had finally risen from the table and used her
shiny silver badge to send them all home.
gone through hugs again, holding on just a bit longer and tighter than usual.
There was a moment of silence before someone laughed. Then they had smiled
softly and left, leaving the four students alone in the Common Room.
up to bed that night and stared up at the ceiling for hours, knowing where her
family had gone. It was an hour before dawn when she finally closed her eyes.
morning it was Ron who put out the alarm. He'd torn up the girls' stairs at
seven in the morning, using the railing to haul himself up, yelling to Hermione
to get up because he'd gone. He'd woken up to find Harry's bed curtains open,
his covers hardly rumpled. He had followed them in the night.
through the day pale and remote, her mind unable to concentrate on the buzz of
rumours that surrounded her. She hadn't noticed much of anything that day, not
even Ron and Hermione's feverish whispering in the back of the room. They felt
betrayed that he left them behind; he never had before.
later that evening, just after dark. She'd watched them fly into the forest,
Hermione on a borrowed broom, not long before the storm started. They hadn't
asked her to go with them, but she couldn't have anyway. Harry'd
made her promise to stay here.
Harry could make her do anything he wanted, any time at all. If Harry asked her
to jump starkers in the lake she'd do it. Especially
if the question was accompanied by one of the sweet lingering kisses he liked
to use to catch her off guard.
why it hadn't seemed so strange when he'd asked her to stay here until school
was over. They'd sat on the balcony of the West tower, wrapped in a blanket,
watching the stars. She'd been so caught up with the feeling of his lips on
hers that she hadn't realised the full implications of her muffled, "Yes."
Even later when she thought about it, it hadn't really mattered. It wasn't as
though Harry was going anywhere. He was here, with her.
trouble was that she had agreed.
Harry had looked
at her moment. Then he smiled and leaned down again to catch her lips in his.
her promise? He would understand. How could anyone expect her to keep a promise
like that? It wouldn't be such a big deal.
be a big deal to her.
her promise; she'd keep it. For him.
nestled down lower into the window seat, pulling her pillow off the floor and
tucking it behind her head.
childish anymore. Her relationship with Harry wasn't anything like the
fumbling, silent crush of her first few Hogwarts years. It was real now. She
had been through so many stages in the last ten years that she could tell what
was real and what wasn't.
been the first to tell her the story of the Boy-Who-Lived. She had been six at
the time, and didn't know much of anything beyond her dolls and her brothers.
She'd sat on his lap as he made up long drawn out conversations between the
baby and the Dark Lord. She remembered loving the voices he'd created for the
different characters and how he'd held her just a little bit tighter whenever a
scary part was coming up. It had been months before she'd learned that babies
couldn't do any of the things Bill said they could.
through the next four years without much thought towards the Boy-Who-Lived,
periodically taking time to listen to Bill as he thought up a new scenario.
Then, four years later, she realized that the Boy-Who-Lived wasn't just
a creation of Bill's overactive mind. She was shocked to think that not only
was Harry Potter real, he had grown up, just like everyone else.
there had been many stories sent home by owl from her brother Ron, drifting
through the kitchen window on gilded wings. They were still exaggerated, she
was sure (who could trust Ron to tell an unbiased story?), but just that fact
that Harry Potter was real kept her from finding another source.
her feelings changed. She loved her saviour, her Knight-in-Shining-Armour, the
hero who had rescued her from a demon. But her love was tainted now - the stain
of her own actions ruined the fabric.
fourteen what she had thought of as love had been exposed for merely
admiration. She found someone new and gave up on the Valiant Gryffindor Seeker.
She realized his opinion of her didn't matter as much as she had originally
thought it did. She stopped pretending. She focused on herself and grew up a
bit. She got to know him as a friend and so when the feeling, the real
feeling, crept up on her it was much easier to make him see it and much easier
when it turned out to have crept up on him too.
up on her. That was the magic of Harry. He made people love him.
He had few
relatives, but an infinity of family members. Somehow
over the years he'd become a friend, a brother, even a son, all without sharing
a single drop of blood.
Lupin thought of Harry as a son. He'd told her so one day at the Burrow. It
was strange to have a grown man confide in her his fears about Harry, to tell
her although he could never consider himself a father, Harry would
always be his son. Harry was Moody's protégé, Tonks'
cousin, Fletcher's ear when he was bored of silent guard work and needed
somebody to talk to. And to her family? He was
everything to them. Everything to her.
perfect, but he didn't have to be. They loved him just the same. He was good at
Defence, lousy at Divination. He had old friends and new friends and schoolboy
nemeses. He'd been through everything but you could still find him laughing
when the right joke came along. He was terrible at chess but he played anyway
because his best friend liked it. He hated to study and loved to fly. If you
put him on a broomstick he would find some way to make you gasp in fear or awe.
He was sweet and funny, brooding and moody and completely, deliriously
tonight, in a situation where a Knight-in-Shining-Armour would rust in the rain
and the Valiant Seeker would have nothing to catch, Harry would prevail.
she not have realised he planned to go? Had he just decided that night,
laughing in the common room? Or had he planned, always knowing he would go,
never resolving when? He'd made her promise. He must have known.
could she not know? The girl who knew him more intimately than anyone
else? His defences were thicker than the first day they met. He was able to
keep most people from realizing what he was really feeling. He must have been
better than she thought.
been different back then. He had walls but they weren't quite the same. Behind
the emotionless shield you could still see something else. You could tell when
he was nervous, or happy, or scared. It wasn't until later that he started to
close off completely.
too much for his lifetime. For anyone's lifetime.
People had been tortured and killed right in front of him. He'd lost friends
and family and strangers -- every death weighed on him the same. He refused to
share responsibility for the people who had given their lives. He never seemed
to consider the older, better trained, more experienced wizards on the case. He
never stopped to think that if they couldn't fix these things, he could not be
hundreds of people willing to fight with him, to die with him, yet when he'd
gone yesterday, he'd gone alone.
Ron and Hermione
had gone after him, but they wouldn't find him. He'd do it alone.
have gone too, but she'd keep her promise. She'd stay here and wait. She'd wait
for them all.
up again, leaning forward to rest her forehead against the windowpane.
seeping over the forest, casting long shadows over the lawn. The wind had
slowed and then stopped sometime during the night and the few clouds left spat
soft drops of rain across the grass. The orange glow of light enveloped the gray night, leaking colour into every corner of the
landscape. The light always conquered the dark, in the end.
out the remains of her lone candle and stood.
One sleepless night. More sure to come.
‘Thank you's go out to
Lucy for looking this over originally (and sharing your opinion) and Kaitie, who I'm going to love working with.